Happy end of the working week, dear readers! This week, Society Diary has been basking in the hottest February since records began - a warm winter treat that's only mildly soured by the probability that it indicates the begining of the end for life on Earth. But ignore those climate changemoaners, reader, and let Diary regale you with this week's highlights in charity news.
Charity benefits from football club's greed
Cancer Research UK have made £1,100 this week from a legal dispute between one of the world’s richest football clubs and a couple who draw “wonky” versions of stickers.
Manchester United’s lawyers showed their generous side this week by taking legal action “artistically challenged” Alex and Sian Pratchett, who operate as Panini Cheapskates.
The duo have raised over £12,000 for charity since they “badly” drew every sticker from the World Cup 2014 book five years ago, something they repeated at Euro 2016 and last year’s World Cup.
Man U told the couple their images of the club’s players were infringing copyright causing them to “go the Pro Evo route” and change players and clubs’ names to something similar enough to still be recognisable but different enough not to get sued.
It is a fine art and Panini Cheapskates seem to have mastered it with Wayne Rooney becoming Ray Wooney, Paul Scholes turning into Poor Schools and Cristiano Ronaldo being renamed as Crusty Arnold Raynaldo. Diary thinks this ingenious solution only adds an extra level of charm to the drawings.
This first batch of “Man Red” drawings have being sold to raise £550 for Cancer Research UK. And Man U’s lawyers seem happy as well, offering to match the money raised. Full credit to Man Utd, which has a turnover of £590m, for finding the spare change.
Portrait of a Donald
Across the pond, Donald Trump has been accused of misusing (his own!) charitable funds. His ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, claimed that in 2013, the president hired a stooge to bid for a portrait of himself, then paid him back $60,000 from the Trump Foundation, a charity which is now in dissolution following a lawsuit.
How his portrait can have a charitable purpose remains unclear. Maybe it can be donated to an arts foundation?
Really, Diary is just interested to see whether or not - while Trump’s hair remains floppy and full and his orange skin lingers - the painting remains the same over the years, or ages and spoils.