Forest Green Rovers have once again broken new ground by appointing an artistic director.
The little club on the hill, as they’re affectionately known in the local area, have managed to attract Massive Attack star Robert Del Naja, a name suggested as the true identity of graffiti artist Banksy.
The two brands, FGR and Massive Attack fit together perfectly. Forest Green are the world’s first carbon-neutral football club, whilst Massive Attack toured Europe on a train last year to reduce their carbon footprint.
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince, a former New Age Traveller and founder of Ecotricity, said “We like to work at the edge, pushing the boundaries and exploring new ways to do things.
“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.”
For his part, Del Naja said his role will involve raising awareness of climate change issues through the medium of football.
“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.”
Massive Attack formed in 1988 and won a Brit Award in 1996 for Best British Dance Act, as well as an Ivor Novello Award in 2009 for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Del Naja has often been reported as the real identity of graffiti artist Banksy, with his work on their album art bearing similarities to the artist, as well as the links to Bristol and other circumstantial evidence.
Football fans often view the actions of Forest Green with scepticism as they tend to fly in the face of conventional football methods. This latest move has sparked plenty of debate online, as you’ll see below.
To ‘celebrate’ the news, we’ve put together a pop star quiz – can you match the star to the club they support?
First you give us Veganism, now an artistic director. Toxic masculinity’s football lad banter culture will take this well, I’m sure.
— Owen Evans (@loose_stoolz) October 6, 2020
Can we get Daddy G, Roni Size, and Tricky on board as well?
— Jürgen Klopp's stunt double (@KloppStunt) October 6, 2020
FGR sign Banksy – Both of whom specialise in PR stunts.
— Jonjo (@jonjoyoud) October 6, 2020
We should be able to win more games now.
— voodoobluesman (@voodoobluesman) October 6, 2020
— Jason Jelf (@jasonjelf) October 6, 2020
— Tom V Wilkinson (@VictoriousW) October 6, 2020