Premier League players have joined together to create a fund for the National Health Service (NHS) in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A huge number of players” launched a contribution fund to get money to “where it’s needed most,” a statement released by a number of players on social media on Wednesday said.
The players, including England and Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Manchester City’s Fernandinho, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, have partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT).
“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,” many players posted on social media.
“[We] have partnered with NHS Charities Together in order to assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.”
Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who had previously said Premier League players should take a pay cut, “warmly welcomed the big-hearted decision”.
“The contributions that this initiative will generate will help NHSCT quickly grant funds to the front line to support in a number of ways.” the statement read.
The Premier League had suggested players take a 30 per cent pay cut but clubs were unable to come to an agreement.
“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,” the players’ statement said.
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“This is a critical time for our country and for our NHS, and we are determined to help in any way that we can.”
Britain reported a daily record of 938 coronavirus-linked deaths on Wednesday, taking its total to more than 7,000.
The health ministry said the total of confirmed infections rose to nearly 61,000 from 282,000 people tested, but government experts estimate that many hundreds of thousands of people are infected.
All football has been suspended in Britain until at least May. (dpa)