(A letter to the Star and Telegraph)
Football fans, what do West Ham, Southampton, Chelsea and Norwich City have in common? They are the 4 Premier League clubs who will be at risk of flooding every season within the next 3 decades. A report by the Rapid Transition Alliance found that a quarter of all football league grounds will be regularly threatened with flooding due to the climate crisis. In the Championship there are seven grounds threatened, including Hull’s KCOM Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium, both of which are predicted to be entirely underwater by 2050. Nearer to home, Doncaster Rover’s Keepmoat stadium can expect an annual partial flood by 2050.
International sporting competitions have already been affected by climate events. 2019’s Rugby World Cup was hit by a typhoon and this year’s Australian Open was affected by smoke from the region’s bush fires. With Arctic ice now melting rapidly, we can expect things to get far worse.
Footballers are currently doing a great job to bring peoples attention to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Which star will do for the climate crisis what Marcus Rashford is doing for child poverty? My recent letters to the directors of SUFC and SWFC (which were published in the Sheffield Telegraph) have so far gone unanswered, but I continue to hope that they will up their game and be a powerful force within the sport to highlight the urgent action needed to prevent climate catastrophe.
Full report here