Premier League stars have confirmed they have started an initiative to help the NHS fight coronavirus. Numerous players released the same statement on Wednesday evening, accompanied with the message ‘#PlayersTogether’. Premier League stars, including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, posted the message on their social media accounts.
Their message read: “Our prayers and thoughts go out to everybody affected by this crisis.
“By sticking together we will get through this. Stay Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives. #PlayersTogether.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week called for Premier League stars to take pay cuts to help in the fight against coronavirus.
The Professional Footballers’ Association have urged stars to not agree pay cuts with their clubs, despite pressure from MP’s.
It’s also understood that the PFA don’t expect clubs to confirm deferrals or cuts until June or July.
Talks over the fund, which was organised by the PFA, progressed over recent days.
Players are looking to help NHS charities with £4m already paid in and more will follow.
A lot has been made of footballers being told to take pay cuts, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defending Premier League players.
“For me, football is an easy target sometimes,” said Solskjaer. “It’s unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group, because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help this situation.
“Discussions are taking place between players and clubs, what kind of contribution they’ll make. It’s not easy for anyone, and to be called out is not fair for me.
“Mistakes are being made and have been made by loads of people and that’s how we learn as well.
“Now it’s about making better decisions, good decisions, I think we all want to help the NHS, the communities and I think it’s important every single club do what they think is right.”
The statement in full:
“Over the course of the last week we, as a group of Premier League players, have held numerous talks together with the vision of creating a contribution fund that can be used to distribute money to where it’s needed most in this COVID-19 crisis; helping those fighting for us on the NHS frontline as well as other key areas of need. This is a critical time for our country and for our NHS, and we are determined to help in any way that we can.
“We can confirm that after extensive conversations between a huge number of players from all Premier League clubs we have created our own collective player initiative, #PlayersTogether, and have partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) in order to assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.
“NHSCT is the national umbrella organisation for over 150 registered NHS charities, working closely with the Charity Commission, Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England to represent, champion, and support the NHS’ official charities. NHSCT are the official charity partner of the NHS nationally.