You’ve broken the record

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TWELVE thousand thank-yous to our readers and listeners to Hallam FM as once again we have smashed the target for the Christmas Cash For Kids appeal.

We can scarcely believe that it was only four weeks ago that we launched the appeal to bring some Christmas joy to 10,000 vulnerable and underprivileged children known to the county’s social services.

But just a month later we are celebrating raising a record-breaking £450,000 meaning we can make Christmas come true for more than 12,000 youngsters.

In tough economic times, we found ourselves asking with a degree of trepidation for readers to think of those children when they are out buying Christmas presents for their own families.

But you didn’t disappoint. And you never do. The generosity of readers and listeners should never fail to amaze us.

But what is more important is that 12,000 children will this Christmas be having presents they dare not have dreamed of.

We cannot bring you pictures of their smiling faces because many are in care.

But the stories we hear from social workers who deliver those toys are heartwarming and we will endeavour to bring you back some of those messages.

Thank you and Happy Christmas.

Football should hear wake-up call

WITH the economic gloom threatening to cast its shadow deep into 2012, a warning comes today that football clubs – which form part of our nation’s DNA – could face increasingly difficult times ahead, with the more troubled outfits in danger of closure.

The bleak outlook comes from Brendan Guilfoyle, of Sheffield-based P&A Group. And he should know for he is an expert on insolvencies blighting soccer clubs, having dealt with financial difficulties at many clubs.

While there are lessons to be taken from Mr Guilfoyle’s experiences with these troubled clubs, not least that fans should be involved at an early stage in negotiations to avoid damaging actions and comments from the grassroots, the underlying problem remains that a sport which is awash with money at a global level needs to find a way of supporting its less fortunate cousins.

Overall, it is a wake-up call to the sport as a whole that it needs a shot of realism as a reminder that the competitive edge is at risk should clubs begin to go under.

Football players and executives at all levels need to realise that they are all in this game together and must find a way of doing business without breaking the bank.