Football club unveils Massive Attack signing
So often the subject of rumour, speculation and tall stories – who football clubs sign and don’t has just gone to a whole new level, thanks to Forest Green Rovers.
Fans wishing for a signing with real artistic talent who can take their club to the next level, add more than a dash of glamour, mystic even, can rest assured – they now have it.
The Gloucestershire League Two club has revealed a new position – that of ‘artistic director’ - with the hotseat filled by none other than Robert Del Naja, aka 3D, the musician and artist who first rose to fame with Bristol’s legendary band Massive Attack.
Fans have double reason to be happy, aside from the fact he is a die-hard Bristol City Fan, as he has put his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and joined chairman, Dale Vince and Arsenal footballer, Hector Bellerin as one of FGR’s main investors.
Apparently, the deal was in the offing when Mr Del Naja met Mr Vince at Massive Attack’sexemplar zero carbon gig in Liverpool with Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research last year.
It was intended as a blueprint for the future of sustainable gigs and tours, but – you guessed it, the event is on-hold until coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
For those who don’t know, Forest Green has form in this area. It went carbon neutral itself in 2017 and became the world’s first vegan football club in 2015.
According to the Nailsworth club Del Naja – also a lifelong S.S.C Napoli fan - will work with club chairman Dale Vince and the team to raise awareness of its environmental and ethical agenda and work on new ways of engaging with football’s global fanbase.
Mr Vince, chairman, Forest Green Rovers, said: “We like to work at the edge, pushing the boundaries and exploring new ways to do things. Having an artistic director is something entirely new for football. We really don’t know what will come from it and that’s part of the excitement.
"I’m a fan of Rob’s work, it’s engaging, innovative and climate focussed - a perfect combo. This is great new direction for FGR and, give it a few more years - for football more generally.”
Mr Del Naja, said: “Football has a fan engagement issue and I got really interested in Dale’s work at the club when I saw how FGR was communicating about climate change to a huge global audience – there’s no other team in the game doing this.
"We’re already plotting our first moves, and I’ll be doing all I can to raise awareness and spread the message that there’s another way to do things.”
First published on October 7, 2020.