(Reuters) – Everton will continue to advertise charity foodbanks on their scoreboard at Goodison Park in response to visiting fans’ ‘poverty chanting’ after “Feed the Scousers” was heard during the 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Insulting chants also including “Sign On”, referring to applying for unemployment benefit, have been aimed at Everton and Liverpool fans by opposition supporters for years, mocking them over the unemployment in the region.
The message of “Fans Supporting Foodbanks” was displayed on the big screen inside the Merseyside club’s stadium less than a minute into the Chelsea clash straight after the first wave of chants from the visiting supporters.
“On several occasions during Sunday’s game at Goodison Park, chants were heard from a section of Chelsea fans which mocked the issue of food poverty within the city of Liverpool,” Everton said in a statement on Monday.
“When that was being sung, the club – united in its stance – promoted the Fans Supporting Foodbanks logo on the big screen inside the stadium.
“Fans Supporting Foodbanks and its unmissable purple vehicle will be in the Fan Zone at Goodison Park all season on matchdays.”
The initiative, which was founded jointly by Liverpool and Everton supporters in 2015 to tackle the issue, has since featured at matchdays across Britain.
“Unfortunately, the use of foodbanks is needed up and down the country, and Fans Supporting Foodbanks is providing essential help to those who require it,” Everton added.
The club has encouraged fans to donate non-perishable foods and dry products to support the initiative on Dec. 19 ahead of Everton’s final home fixture before Christmas against Fulham.
“We’ve always said that there’s 40,000 fans at Goodison and 50,000 at Anfield,” Chair of Fans Supporting Foodbanks Dave Kelly told the club website.
“If each fan turned up with just one tin then I can pretty much guarantee there wouldn’t be a child going to bed hungry on Merseyside that night.”
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)