The Big Tick
Charlton has been singled out as one of the country's top exponents of improving educational standards among children. Charlton was one of 101 companies given a Big Tick by the Business in the Community Awards for Excellence, in recognition of responsible business practices, and a positive impact both on society and business. Charlton was awarded the Big Tick
in The Reed Elsevier Education and Lifelong Learning Award
for Using Football as the Educational Tool.
This is great news and is a very public endorsement of why I and my fellow fans are Addicks. As the Spurs and Ireland striker Robbie Keane said
, when describing Switzerland before they played England yesterday, "If you tried to compare them with a Premiership equivalent they would be a bit like Charlton. They really work hard for each other, there aren't really any superstar players, but they have got a unit that works for them."
A good football club is not just a bunch of dilettante players (with the notable exceptions in Charlton's case of Scott Parker and Carlton Cole who'll probably leave anyway), but a community which involves all participants and followers. Its fans have a stake. I've been quoted elsewhere
describing how as a teenager I felt involved. For me it was a rite of passage; a fifties hero, John Hewie was a neighbour and the Saturday afternoon stroll to the Valley for home games to watch him play gave me a sense of belonging. And since those days I've always appreciated honest endeavour above occasional flashes of brilliance. I became a defender in my own playing days. Not, of course, that I'm in anyway decrying the treasured memories of Rodney Marsh, George Best and Stanley Mathews.
The efforts of the fans to get Charlton back to the Valley and the honesty and Gritt ('scuse pun ~ welcome back, Steve) of Curbs and the board, all of which has taken place in my absence, give me a warm glow.
Aiming for an award by participating in Business in the Community is not, and cannot, be the aim. But it is good business. Customer loyalty and involvement is the best advertising of all. Although I cannot actually find Charlton on BITC's website
, possibly because the site lists the 2003 winners, there are enough examples to show that consumers aren't as stupid as marketers may think we are.
I'm also not sure if all of the awards are really justified. Given how BNFL
have abused and poisoned West Cumbria since the 1950's, any community activities they 'sponsor' I view as a mea culpa
, much like Shell's statement
I linked to yesterday. There can be no belated excuses for fucking up the planet in the name of short-term profits.
"48% of the global public do not trust large companies
". Global CSR Monitor, 2003
One has to wonder what the percentage is here in Indonesia, but that has to be the theme for another day.