On 4th November, Jonathan Metliss, Chairman of the charity Action Against Discrimination (AAD) and Chairman of Axiom Stone Solicitors, participated in a virtual panel discussion on the subject of Jews in British football.
He told the event’s worldwide online audience that having spent a number of years on the advisory board of Kick Racism Out Of Football (Kick It Out), he formed AAD in 2013 to support a fundraising exercise for Kick It Out (which culminated in a successful dinner at Wembley Stadium with over 850 guests) and thereafter to campaign directly against racism in football and in particular anti-Semitism, after becoming disillusioned with the lack of action in this area.
Although “football mad” from his youth, and in a career in the law which had seen his involvement in many football club takeovers and fund-raisings, he had grown concerned from the early 1980s about increasing anti-Semitism among fans.
“The FA, Premier League, anti-discrimination organisations and the Government do little to combat anti-Semitism in football. It does not appear to be on their radar screens,” he told the online event hosted by Rabbi Jonathan Hughes, of Radlett United Synagogue and promoter of the United Synagogue in the City, of which Jonathan Metliss is a patron.
Rabbi Hughes was a former player with Swindon Town and Reading. Along with Jonathan Metliss, his guests were Clifford Crown, Brentford FC Chairman, Ronny Rosenthal, former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur player and David Kohler, former owner of Luton Town FC, who spoke of their respective experiences in the game and how they became involved.