Premier League players have launched a charitable fund called PlayersTogether to raise money for the National Health Service during the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement released on Wednesday evening on behalf of all Premier League players announced the new initiative would “help enhance the wellbeing of NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by Covid-19”.
Top-flight players had come under pressure to take a stand in the fight against coronavirus in recent days, with the UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock last week calling for well-paid stars to “play their part”.
Much of the football community were angered by the targetting of players. Gary Lineker called for them to be given more time to act, while the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) released a strongly worded statement on behalf of Premier League stars setting out why the pay cuts proposed by their clubs would ultimately damage NHS funding.
Players from all 20 Premier League clubs flooded social media with the #PlayersTogether message, including England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane, and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who was at the forefront of the initiative as talks played out between captains over Whatsapp this week.
In the statement the players stressed that talks have been ongoing “over the last week”. They promised to assist NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation for NHS charities, in “generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most”.
Lineker tweeted: “Footballers are doing their bit as I was confident they would. Let’s hope that others that are in a position to help, those that weren’t unfairly targeted, do likewise. Proud of our players.”
The health secretary also reacted to the initiative on social media. “Warmly welcome this big-hearted decision from so many Premier League footballers to create #PlayersTogether to support NHS Charities,” Hancock tweeted. ”You are playing your part.”
Premier League players’ statement
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