The Football Association has defended its policy of not passing on any gate receipts from Wayne Rooney’s final England appearance to his foundation even though the fixture is named after his charity.
The FA said it had not shared gate receipts for previous games named after charities – although, actually, it has made donations. At present it is not planning to make a donation to the Wayne Rooney Foundation but it may now come under pressure to do so.
For example in 2015 the FA announced it was giving £75,000 to Breast Cancer Care for the “Breast Cancer Care International” between England and France. The relationship between the charity and the FA, however, was long-standing and there were a number of fund-raising events.
The friendly fixture against the United States at Wembley next week is now being officially called the Wayne Rooney Foundation International to raise funds for the charities he supports. However there will not be a specific share of gate receipts.
An FA spokesperson said: “The FA is a not-for-profit organisation which invests millions of pounds back into the grass-roots game on an annual basis. The proceeds from the England v USA will go back into the English game. However, to honour Wayne Rooney and his record-breaking England career, we will also help raise money for the Wayne Rooney Foundation through a number of fundraising initiatives around the match.”
Those initiatives include an opportunity to donate to the foundation when purchasing a ticket. But that only applies to tickets sold since the link-up was announced. Before that confirmation 45,000 tickets had already been sold which also, apparently, complicates sharing gate receipts.
There will also be bucket collections at Wembley, advertising to promote text message donations via BT, pledge cards and a silent auction in hospitality areas, the match shirts from the squad to be signed and donated to the foundation and a gala dinner at Wembley next year to be supported by the FA.
Rooney is expected to play for the final few minutes of the match on Nov 15, winning his 120th England cap. There had been suggestions the 33-year-old, who has not played for England for two years and retired from international football in August 2017 after refusing a call-up, would start the match and captain the side before being substituted but this has been refuted by the FA.
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