At 1.7 meters high, Manchester United’s attacking midfielder Juan Mata might not be the tallest on the pitch but he stands tall in the world as co-founder of the Common Goal initiative. For those who’ve never heard of it, the charitable institution has the stated goal of funding high-impact organisations that harness the power of football to advance the United Nations Global Goals.
The way it operates is its members (players, fans, clubs or other football related professionals) pledge one percent of their salary to the cause. Using their contributions, Common Goal funds high-impact football-related NGOs, who in turn help people in need around the world. From raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in developing or under-developed countries to gender inequality, Common Goal funded programmes encompass a vast spectrum of fantastic causes for social good.
The world of professional football at its highest is blessed with so much money that one percent of a football player’s salary is very significant. Let’s use the main man, Juan Mata himself as an example. A quick google search will show you his estimated salary in 2015 was £8.5m a year. Let’s assume this number is true. One percent would be an £85000 annual contribution. To put this into perspective, according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), the average gross annual earnings for full-time employees was in the UK was £27,600 in 2015, approximately three times less than Mata’s one percent contribution. My point here is to emphasize how much one percent of a footballer’s salary can help.
Common Goal’s Purpose: Uniting the global football community in tackling the greatest social challenges of our time
Mata co-founded Common Goal with Jürgen Griesbeck in 2017 and since then many footballers have joined. Mat Hummels, Megan Rapinoe, Chiellini, Gnabry, Nagelsmann, Alfie Mawson, Shinji Kagawa, Wondolowski, Aleksander Ceferin, FC Nordsjaelland and Kasper Schmeichel are but a few names to have joined this noble cause. Eric Cantona recently made the news by joining Common Goal as the first Common Goal mentor. Common Goal have racked quite some members, especially given they started barely one year ago.
It’s telling that Mata made the announcement he will be the first to join Common Goal on the same day Neymar was bought by Paris St Germain for 222m euros. Player transfer fees and salaries at the highest level are astounding.
If only we could connect these astronomical numbers to grassroots programmes. That’s exactly what Common Goal about. The more players, managers and clubs join, the more we will see the direct impact of the football elite’s riches around world. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful sight now?
Check out Common Goal‘s website here: https://www.common-goal.org/About
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