Try €10,000. That’s how much Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has pledged to donate to Irish Football for every goal England scores in the tournament, in a new campaign named ‘#SaveOurGame’.
Donations will be doubled to €20,000 if either of the England side’s two Irish players, Jack Grealish or Declan Rice, succeed in scoring for England in a pledge called ‘The Back Stabber’ bonus.
The campaign hopes to bring English and Irish football fans to put their stormy past aside for the tournament and come together in appreciation of a cordial win-win situation that should have both cheering in support of a common sporting cause.
Then again, the fact that the Republic of Ireland squad failed to qualify for the tournament could have something to do with it.
The campaign kicked off with a full-page ad in The Irish Times under the headline “Come on you boys in white!” showing an Ireland player’s shirt being ripped open to reveal a red England flag on the player’s chest. This was accompanied by the installation of an outsize 100 x 56m St. George’s Cross on the Bray Wanderers Ground in County Wicklow.
Irish pundit and former Ireland international Eamon Dunphy, and former Crystal Palace and Hull City star Damien Delaney, who were both on hand to add encouragement to Irish fans, both appear in a tongue-in-cheek video, with a cameo from Paddy Power himself, to launch the #SaveOurGame campaign.
Said a Paddy Power spokesperson, “Irish football fans are the best in the world, and we know they would do anything for the good of the game. We’re not asking them to pledge their allegiance to the Queen. We haven’t totally lost the plot. But for the duration of the Euros, for every goal England score is money in the bank for Irish football.” He added, “We want to give Irish fans a reason to cheer this summer – even if it slips out accidentally!”
Paddy Power are well known for their daring marketing; in their past campaigns they’ve pushed boundaries and even got them in hot water for some particularly bad taste ads. But we love this bold move from the team – and while we don’t think it’ll get Irish fans singing Three Lions anytime soon – it proves that an England goal isn’t always bad news, especially not for grassroots Irish football.
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