The Football Association will not donate the gate receipts from England’s friendly with the United States to the Wayne Rooney Foundation, using the game primarily to raise awareness for Rooney’s charity instead.
Next Thursday’s game against the United States at Wembley has been designated the ‘Wayne Rooney Foundation International’ following months of talks between the FA and Rooney’s camp about a way to acknowledge Rooney’s international career while raising awareness for his charity foundation.
The FA believe that this fixture will succeed in increasing the profile of the Wayne Rooney Foundation, which contributes money primarily to children’s charities in the north west of England.
"The FA is a not-for-profit organisation which invests millions of pounds back into the grassroots game on an annual basis," a spokesperson said. "The proceeds from the England v USA will go back into the English game.
"However, to honour Wayne Rooney and his record-breaking England career, we will also help raise money for the Wayne Rooney Foundation through a number of fundraising initiatives around the match."
The FA will use the game to promote the foundation’s gala dinner at Wembley next year, will pass round donations buckets and pledge cards, and give those at the game the opportunity to donate via text. There will also be a silent auction to raise more money.
But the FA will not be denoting the gate receipts from the game to the foundation, as reported in The Times On Tuesday.
But this is thought to be in keeping with the FA’s previous approach to charity foundation matches such as the Bobby Moore Fund or Breast Cancer Care, where awareness raising also took priority over gate receipts.
The decision to make Thursday’s game the Wayne Rooney Foundation International was made late last week, but was the product of months of talks following Rooney’s international retirement last year. Gareth Southgate has been keen to keep former England internationals more involved with the team, and the FA had been hoping to dedicate a game to Rooney for some time.
However they did wanted it to be a friendly at Wembley, and not the two warm-up games just before this year’s World Cup. Hence the decision for it to be this Thursday against the US.
Rooney is expected to come on for the final few minutes of the game to win his final England cap. The game will otherwise be a warm-up ahead of England’s crunch Nations League game with Croatia at Wembley on Sunday. The FA have sold roughly 50,000 tickets for Thursday’s game.
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