Brighton CEO Paul Barber believes Premier League clubs must do all they can to support Ukraine following its invasion by Russia.
Like many clubs and sports associations around the world, the Seagulls were shocked and saddened by the conflict in Ukraine and acted quickly to provide support.
The club have confirmed that their men’s and women’s teams will wear their yellow and blue third kits this weekend against Newcastle in the Premier League and Aston Villa in the Women’s Super League.
From 5pm on Tuesday, all profits made from the sale of the club’s yellow and blue kit will be donated to the British Red Cross Ukraine crisis appeal.
The club’s chief executive joined talkSPORT on Wednesday and expressed his willingness to do all he can to help those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
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Speaking on White and Jordan, Barber said: “First of all, I think everyone was shocked and saddened by the invasion and the conflict that we see on our television screens every day and I think the impact on the lives of ordinary people in Ukraine is shocking, especially the innocent children who inevitably seem caught up in it all.
“For us, it’s just one small thing we can do to help. We can raise some money for the British Red Cross, we can hopefully raise more awareness of the conflict, but it’s a small gesture.
“We are not politicians, we cannot solve this crisis, but what we can do is hopefully bring more attention to it.
“We would not have chosen to wear our yellow and blue jersey this weekend. Ironically, it’s not the most popular kit with our players so we probably would have preferred to wear our turquoise kit, but it’s an opportunity in front of a global audience to do something in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“It’s an opportunity to use Premier League games to raise the profile of the conflict even further and just make a small statement of solidarity.”
Barber added: “If it makes a small difference to selling the kit through the British Red Cross, it can really help some of these people who are in such dire straits, then it’s worth it.
“Our players are like everyone else, they are not immune to the terrible news or images that we see. They have friends in other clubs who have friends who have ties to Ukraine etc. So I think everyone is amazed at how quickly this has escalated and how dangerous it is, not just for Ukraine, but for the rest of the world.
“I think everyone wants to do something. Nobody knows exactly what we can do and what kind of impact it can have.
“We’re not the biggest club in the world, we don’t have huge followings like some Premier League clubs, but if we can do one small thing and it helps we should do it.”
The move follows in the footsteps of Danish club Brondby, whose players wore shirts reversed to resemble the Ukrainian flag and auctioned off their shirts to raise funds.
Asked if football clubs should stay away from political issues like this, the Brighton chief executive said: “It’s very close to home, it’s something that could affect us very imminently.
“We’re doing something that for some people will just be wallpaper hopefully not, but for some it’s just a kit color change.
“If they buy the kit the money will go to the British Red Cross, again if they don’t buy the kit it won’t affect them.
“I think the vast majority of people I’ve spoken to want football clubs to do something and want us to keep this conflict in the public eye.
“It sold very well overnight, so hopefully we can get some money to the British Red Cross very quickly.”
It comes after West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko took to social media to call out Russian players for their silence over the ongoing invasion.
“I have a question for the Russian players,” Yarmolenko continued.
“Guys, why are you sitting like assholes and not saying anything? In my country they kill people, kill women, kill mothers, kill our children. But you don’t say anything, you haven’t made any comments.
“Please tell me what will happen if all of you together, united, show the people what is really happening in my country.
“I know a lot of you, I know a lot of you and you all told me, ‘it shouldn’t be like this’, that your president is acting incorrectly.
‘So guys, you have influence over people, show it, I’m asking you, please!
“I know some of you like to show your balls on camera. [Dzyuba] but now is the time to show your balls in real life.
“Thank you for your attention! Glory to Ukraine.”