Last week, we sent out a marketing email which offended some Scottish, Welsh and Irish customers because it lent its support for England in the World Cup. While not retracting our support, we apologise for seeming to overlook other nations in the British Isles and, in recompense, point Celtic customers in the direction of
anyonebutengland.com (link now dead), a site for anyone sick of hearing the Three Lions song or that overplayed 1966 commentary (“They think it’s all over…”). For a bit more sociability there’s an Anyone But England for World Cup 2010 Facebook page (link dead): “We don’t care who wins the World Cup, as long as it’s not England” is the magnanimous motto.
While there has been sporting rivalry between British Isle nations since sports were organised along national lines, an “Anyone But England” movement gained especial prominence in February earlier this year when Police warned a shop in Aberdeen called Slanj that selling t-shirts emblazoned with “A.B.E. Anyone But England South Africa 2010” could cause offence. Grampian officers asked a store worker to consider whether it was appropriate to display the shirts in the window. Grampian police insisted it was an advisory rather than investigative visit but if anything, the media coverage of the story stoked friendly nationalism even more. Scottish tennis player Andy Murray has jokingly-seriously expressed support for A.B.E.