Coronavirus: Premier League players launch charity fund to raise money for NHS

Players from every Premier League club flooded social media to launch the new initiative using the hastag #PlayersTogether

Lawrence Ostlere
Wednesday 08 April 2020 21:29 BST
Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

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

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.

The contributions that this initiative will generate will help NHSCT quickly grant funds to the front line to support in a number of ways, including to help enhance the well-being of NHS Staff, volunteers and patients impacted by COVID-19 as well as helping them in their work supporting many other critical areas of need, both now and in the longer term.

#PlayersTogether is about we, as players, collaborating together to create a voluntary initiative, separate to any other club and league conversations, that can help get much needed funds to those that need it right now. To try and help, along with so many others in the country, make a real difference.

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.

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