Arsenal's Ex-pro and celebrity XI

Ex-Pro and Celebrity XI

The Arsenal Ex-Professional & Celebrity XI are in their 14th year of raising money for charity through celebrity football.

The Match
The showpiece of the event is the match between your team and the Arsenal Ex-Professional & Celebrity XI. During that time the team has played hundreds of matches and have raised well over £1m for good causes. Based on this experience, the following are some brief guidelines for anyone thinking about organising a match in aid of their favourite charity.

The Team
The host charity have to find a local ground as the venue, a non-league club or a good company facility are ideal and unless overnight accommodation is provided for the team the location should be within the boundaries of the M25.

Please check with us before you go to print with the squad list so that we can be as up-to-date as possible. We are reluctant to promise specific appearances. Last minute commitments can destroy the best intentioned plans. For that reason always list a full squad with our disclaimer clearly printed. This will hopefully reduce any feelings of disappointment and let down if 'star' personalities are unable to play.

Also do not promote the match on the basis of the appearance of named celebrities but on the collective appearance of Ex-Arsenal players and other Ex-Professional footballers and celebrities from Sport, TV & Showbiz.

As far as your team is concerned there is no limit to the number of players in your squad and substitutes can roll on and off as long as there are no more than 11 players on the pitch at any one time!

We do insist that your starting line-up contains at least five players who are over 40 (and none who are under 25!!) and that your players do their best to raise funds through sponsorship (see section on fundraising). We hope that the game is played in a friendly and sporting atmosphere and that there will be a small reception for players and officials afterwards.

Please note that our team plays in the Arsenal colours.

Side-Shows, Entertainment & Penalty Competitions
All possibilities of organising side-shows and entertainment as part of the event should be looked into. This will add to the atmosphere, provide more things for everyone to do and raise more money. A family fete is a popular addition to 'THE MATCH' as is a penalty competition for different age groups.
Organising Team
You need a team on the pitch, but it is just as important to have a strong team behind the scenes all working together to achieve success. Draw up a list of functions, allocate responsibilities, set targets. We provide a check-list for this purpose. People must do what they say they are going to do. There must be regular monitoring. There must be organised and enthusiastic leadership.

Match Day Programme
A Matchday Programme should be produced. It can be used as the means of entry ('ticket'); provide information for spectators and a place for autographs; and advertising can be sold to raise additional funds. We have provided squad information for the programme. Sales of Programmes should be organised in advance of the match. Programmes should also be sold on the gate on the day of the game.

Publicity through local TV, radio and the press is useful although there is no substitute for leg work by an enthusiastic band of organisers and players. Sometimes it can be beneficial to persuade a local media celebrity to play in the team as long as he promotes the game through his show or column. Posters and flyers are also useful back-up publicising the event but there must still be an active team out there approaching sponsors; selling advertising and programmes and seeking side-shows and entertainment.

Fund Raising
We ask organisers to approach fund raising with energy, enthusiasm and initiative. Sponsorship from players is the key area of fundraising, just like in the London Marathon. In the London Marathon the average sponsorship raised per runner is over £2,000. Only players prepared to raise money through sponsorship should be invited to play and organisers should set a minimum amount. We can provide a sample sponsorship form. Companies should be sought as sponsors e.g. Match sponsor; Man of the Match; top goal-scorer; to provide mascot etc.

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