Letter to the President of the FA

His Royal Highness, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge 

President of The Football Association

Wembley Stadium

PO Box 1966

London

SW1P 9EQ

 

April 4th 2022

 

Your Royal Highness,

 

As an urgency, we respectfully write to you in your role as the President of The English Football Association but also as an environmentalist and humanitarian.

 

Last week we, Staines Town Football Club, (STFC), who play our home matches at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines, sent our urgent Club statement to The Football Association (The FA) – in regard of extremely serious matters regarding the London based investment fund, Downing LLP, who control and fund the operation of our Landlord, The Thames Club.

 

Please see the link here for the STFC Club Statement in full, along with the attached documentation. This includes The FA’s Slavery and Human Rights Statement.

http://stainestownfootballclub.co.uk/urgent-club-statement/

 

Upon reading our Club statement, you will see that there are a host of human rights abuses that are being funded by Downing LLP, who are also in breach of The Modern Slavery Act 2015.

 

STFC’s statement has attracted widespread attention and we have received overwhelming support from the public, both here in the UK and overseas for the stance that we have taken. We are refusing to play any further matches at our home stadium until a full investigation has been carried out into Downing LLP’s funding of Human Rights Abuses.

 

We realise that our decision affects our club greatly but given the gravity of what has come to light about Downing LLP, it is a decision that we have had no choice but to make.

 

As an FA member club, with a one hundred and thirty year history, STFC is now confronted with the perversity of Downing LLP’s funding of a company that has been found guilty in the Courts of Law of conspiracy to launder over $36 million USD in bribes to officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and other football federations. These bribes were in furtherance of a scheme in which sports marketing companies bribed FIFA officials in exchange for broadcasting rights to matches. 

 

As stated in the courts by The Federal Bureau of Investigations (The FBI), the Downing LLP funded company, Pursued the profit it could make laundering corrupt funds derived from a criminal scheme run by powerful FIFA officials. Officials that are a conduit for criminal activity undermine their own profession and the health of our financial system’.

 

As yet, we have received no response at all from our football clubs own ruling body, The FA. Given the seriousness of what is at stake, we are extremely disappointed by the lack of urgent response. We believe that our football club deserves a full response from its ruling body. 

 

The FA states that, ‘Our National Game is For All, we all have a responsibility to step up and blow the whistle on discrimination’.  

 

‘Discrimination of any kind has no place in football. That’s the same whether on the pitch or on the side lines, at the training ground or in the stands. If you tell us about something, we will act promptly and respond appropriately’

 

The FA’s Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham represents The FA on the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), working group for Human Rights, a group set up, ‘to gain a better or further understanding regarding the issues surrounding human rights’.

 

We would, we hope, all be in agreement that the abuses outlined within STFC’s statement not only represent ‘discrimination’ but also other serious offences.

 

As a society, we are now aware that a London based investment fund in Downing LLP, seems to be heavily invested into companies that are guilty of horrendous Environmental Crimes, such as Deforestation and Forced Evictions, alongside Human Rights Abuses, which include Child Labour and Slavery.  

 

As an environmentalist, you will be no doubt be aware that many of these crimes are supposedly major forces behind the reported climate change and animal extinction that you campaign against. Downing LLP are presenting many of these funded companies to its prospective investors as both sustainable and ethical. They appear to be doing nothing more than, ‘Greenwashing’, in order to induce potential investment.   

 

In relation to Downing LLP’s investments, on your recent Royal Tour of Jamaica, whilst addressing the UK’s role in historical slavery, you said that slavery was ‘abhorrent’, “should never have happened” and “forever stains our (The UK’s) history”.

 

We agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly but we are now in the year 2022 with the bleak shadow of slavery hanging directly over our home stadium at Wheatsheaf Park via Downing LLP’s control of our Landlords and its apparent funding of some of the most nefarious and barbaric crimes. 

 

In any society, how can such funding be allowed to continue unchecked, without reproach or without every effort being made by those with the authority to do so, to stop it from happening?

 

Downing LLP have thus far come up with a desperate and inaccurate defence to our club statement but for those that have read through the full documentation, they will have seen that much of it is confirmed by respected institutions such as The United Nations, Amnesty International and The United States Courts of Justice. 

 

The facts are seemingly inextricably clear, Downing LLP are funding Human Rights Abuses.

 

Discovery of malfeasance is a public service, especially when financial and governmental regulators appear to be asleep at the wheel. STFC’s voice may be a small one but it is one that needs to be heard by the world. 

 

The sooner untenable business models such as Downing LLP’s are exposed, the sooner the resources they are consuming can move towards something beneficial for both football and global society as whole.

 

We respectfully ask that The FA does not turn a blind eye to what Downing LLP are funding and that you request an immediate investigation into their business practices. 

 

Staines Town Football Club simply wants to go back to playing football at Wheatsheaf Park with no links to the horrors stated above.

 

 

We hope and trust that The FA will help us to do that. 

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Staines Town Football Club