Football is a team game won by moments of individual genius - where players can turn from hero to villain in one moment of madness, change the future of a club with one kick of a ball and drift into the injured footballers void that surrounds the game. So why, when without the enforcer of these rules who make all competitiveness authentic, does the man in black become a figure of hate?
After talking to clubs you cannot help but feel that they are dragging their heels on the issue by claiming a need for more time or consultation. For clubs such as Man United, the distinct lack of leadership on this issue is worrying. Laces aside, their ability to reach a potential audience of millions could be pivotal, yet they have no dedicated campaign that deals solely with homophobia.
Racism is of course not solely a football problem. It's a societal problem of which football is its most public symptom. This is why it is so crucial that when it emerges in the game it is dealt with seriously and without any attempt at equivocation or sympathy towards those guilty of propagating or normalising it.
Credibility is fundamental to campaigning organisations. People need to trust you in order to back your campaign and - crucially - tell someone else about it. They want to know you are speaking out and standing up for what you believe in. But you also need to have some access to those in power if you are to get them to listen to you and secure change.