FA Cup rivals Oxford City and Shrewsbury Town unite in putting people first in football
At the same time as Shrewsbury Town and Oxford City FC prepare for their on-the-field battle for a place in the third round of the FA Cup, both clubs have joined forces in a shared commitment to provide greater support for athletes off the pitch. Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tie, both clubs have confirmed that they are working with Beyond The White Line (BTWL), the movement that places the human being before the athlete in professional sport.
BTWL is working with both clubs in helping players across various areas including wellbeing, mental health, education, career transition and financial management.BTWL is a non-profit movement that was created in answer to the need to place individuals before athletes in professional sport. BTWL is working with a diverse and growing group of sportswomen and men across several sports, along with clubs and federations.
James Chiffi, Founder of Beyond The White Line said: “At Beyond the White Line we believe that it is time for a change. It’s inspiring to see these two clubs celebrate such a huge occasion for their players and fans – an FA Cup clash that’s being shown live on national television - by drawing attention to the failure of large parts of the sports industry to genuinely invest in athlete support and put the human first. I urge anyone involved in sport, either as an athlete or any other industry professional, who’d like to drive a positive and lasting change to get in touch and work together with us in creating and delivering solutions.”
Mick Livesey, Commercial Director at Oxford City FC, said: “Beyond The White Line is our back of shirt sponsors and this symbolises that they have the player’s and the staff’s back! Life involves many ups and downs, and it is great to know that there is now a safety net in place for all stakeholders thanks to this amazing organisation. It’s time we put #HumanFirst across all sports and for all stakeholders. I’m proud that Oxford City was among the first clubs to recognize the importance of the work BTWL carries out.”
Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive at, Shrewsbury Town FC added: "We have been very impressed with the work which Beyond the White Line which covers so many aspects and people involved in the sports industry. We want to support James and his team in any way we can and also utilise their services. I would encourage all sports staff and organisations to get involved"