Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has purchased a minority stake in League Two side Forest Green Rovers.
Bellerin, 25, held talks over an investment in the Gloucestershire club, who have become renowned for their eco-friendly approach to the sport and in 2018 became the first UN certified carbon neutral football club, and the move has now been confirmed.
The Arsenal right-back has been a vocal advocate for environmental causes, most notably committing to plant 3,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest for every game he won following English football’s restart in June. Bellerin is also vegan, something else he shares with Forest Green Rovers, who do not sell any meat or animal products at their stadium.
Speaking about the deal, Bellerin said: “I was really excited when I first discovered the opportunity to get involved at Forest Green Rovers – and the brilliant work the club is already doing. It’s important that I invest in things I am passionate about – and I’m excited to help push football into having a sustainable future.
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“Forest Green Rovers prove to clubs who say ‘they don’t have resources to be sustainable’ – that it is possible. With the new stadium, being carbon neutral and vegan the club is doing some mind-blowing work. People have a universal love of football, so there’s no better industry to promote sustainability – and what we can do as football supporters to be more environmentally conscious.
“I became a vegan around three years ago and at first, I just wanted to try it and detox my body. Initially, I thought I’d eat meat as a ‘treat’ – but, being vegan just worked for me. After a month of being vegan, I felt stronger – and I didn’t struggle with ankle injuries anymore. I began to feel more energetic on the pitch – and I began to notice a real difference.”
Bellerin had been in lengthy talks with the…