United & Liverpool Remembrance strategy is Poppy-cock

This Sunday is a hugely important day in the British calendar.

In the week when so many British servicemen have lost their lives in Afghanistan, Remembrance Sunday takes on even greater significance, if that were possible.

The antics of an idiotic student, filmed urinating on a war memorial when drunk recently, underlines how easy it is for younger generations to forget what suffering and sacrifice has ensured the sovereignty of this country over the centuries.

And so it would seem appropriate - and not before time - that the Premier League football clubs show their support and understanding by embroidering poppies on their shirts for this weekend's matches.

Arsenal, for instance, are to auction their shirts off to raise money for the British Legion charity and I expect other clubs have other worthwhile money-raising plans as well.

But the fact that two of the country's biggest clubs - Manchester United and Liverpool - have refused to adorn their shirts with poppies despite overwhelming public outcry is a public relations disaster.

How quick and simple it would have been to join the other 18 clubs in the top flight to show their respect for those who have fought for their country.

It is especially ironic given that both have suffered from significant non-military disasters - the Munich air crash in United's case and Hillsbrough in Liverpool's - which have provoked so much sympathy from the wider sports community.

Any change of strategy would now be seen as a climbdown, but still be preferable to digging in their heels about a cause which is so worthy.

Other columnists and bloggers have spoken about 'Poppy Fascism' which seems ironic since the last great war ensured far-right parties did not spread their tyranny and destruction, at a huge cost of life.

Both clubs will no doubt do their bit to raise money for the British Legion anyway, but what a missed opportunity!

As Warren Buffet said, reputations take years to gain and moments to lose and how much sympathy goodwill or sympathy will the clubs now deserve after such a small minded act which does nothing for their public relations?