Vincent Kompany says Manchester homelessness is 'shameful'

Vincent Kompany
Kompany has played 346 times for Manchester City since joining from Hamburg

"I could have chosen a number of topics because we don't live in a perfect world but this is the one I felt most compelled to put on my shoulders."

Vincent Kompany has been a figurehead at Manchester City since his arrival at the club 10 years ago, captaining them to three Premier League titles.

Now the Belgian, 32, has pledged to help tackle the issue of homelessness in the city he has called home since 2008.

Earlier this year he set up 'Tackle4MCR' with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham in a bid to inspire social change in the region and will also donate all profits from his testimonial match next year to Manchester's homeless.

In an interview with the Manchester Evening News,external-link Kompany highlighted why he felt compelled to tackle the problem.

"It's undeniable - globally, England, the whole of the UK, is well-off," he said.

"And in this part of world, for this to still be possible, it's actually quite shameful.

"But problems happen - and if we have enough solidarity we can perhaps change things for the future."

Kompany, whose wife is from Manchester, said the homelessness issue became clearer to him when City's training ground moved from the outskirts of Manchester to the complex around the Etihad Stadium in the east of the city.

"It's a different thing if you live in the outskirts and you never see it, than if you live in the middle of it and you see it every day," he said.

"We're very closely linked to each other no matter how much disparity there is in wealth.

"We live in the same environment, the same area, and if people have the means to help, they should do it.

"Obviously I do it to help those who need it.

"But I also do it for my children, for them to grow up in an area where they can be proud of how people behave.

"I think we live in such a selfish world - it's all about guys trying to get on top by attacking the other one with populist rhetoric and it's so easy now with social media to always create a divide and get on top.

"It's a lot harder to bring people together to do something tangible and something that brings us closer."