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“I know what it's like to get by with less”

Maximilian Philipp joins Common Goal

The 26-year-old German forward currently plying his trade in Russia for Dynamo Moscow becomes the 153rd player to join the movement.

He recently sat down with Kicker to discuss his reasons for taking the 1% pledge. This is an extract from that article which first appeared in German on Kicker.de. You can read that article in full by clicking here. 

You made good use of the coronavirus-induced break in football and joined the Common Goal initiative, which calls upon football professionals, managers, officials and clubs to donate a minimum of 1% of their annual income to social causes. How did this come about?

I have also made donations in the past: as a footballer you have the opportunity to give back with a proportion of what you earn. I really appreciate what I’ve got. I don't come from a family where money was thrown at me, so I know what it's like to get by with less. Now I have the opportunity to give something back and help other people who are less fortunate.

What exactly does that mean?

There are numerous great social projects that can be supported through Common Goal, which you can even go visit in person if you like.  And that is what I would like to do. I want to understand and experience what my money goes towards. There are a number of possibilities to which I also have a very personal connection.

I read up on what Common Goal does, and witnessed more and more prominent supporters getting involved. So I said to myself: ‘I want to do the same.’ As an individual member I am only making a small contribution but, together, we can make a massive difference through Common Goal. For us top athletes it isn’t hard to give back a part of our income to do good.

Common Goal aims to embed the contribution to social development in the DNA of professional football and to unlock 1% of the football industry's total revenues for social impact. Is it realistic that, at some point, everyone in the industry will be part of it?

I certainly hope so. We are in a privileged position. We should all give something back from the vast sums of money that exist in football. We can help so many people, everyone should be aware of that. Football can use its power and set an example to others.

Is this even more important at a time when football and its protagonists are often under scrutiny?

There will always be prejudice and there will, of course, also always be players who give rise to criticism as a result of their behaviour in public. But you shouldn't lump them all together and you shouldn't judge someone simply based upon, say, how they present themselves on social media.

Do you think that football will be different after Corona, especially in monetary terms?

First of all, it would be nice to raise awareness that there are people everywhere who need help and whom we are able to help. As far as football is concerned, it is difficult to say how it is developing. The transfer sums will certainly not be as high as before for the time being, which I think is a good thing.