Premier League players have set up the fund in partnership with NHS Charities Together. Top-flight stars came under fire after some clubs placed non-playing staff on the government’s furlough scheme, with health secretary Matt Hancock also calling for players to take pay cuts.
The Premier League had previously proposed a 30 per cent wage cut but talks with the Professional Footballers’ Association did not arrive at a resolution.
However, a statement from the group behind #PlayersTogether read: “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.”
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Which stars are involved in #PlayersTogether?
A full list of players involved in the charitable fund is not currently available.
However, all 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to the NHS initiative.
And according to The Guardian, the fund will be administered by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, Watford’s Troy Deeney and West Ham’s Mark Noble.
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What has been the reaction?
Hancock, who previously called on Premier League players to “play their part”, welcomed the initiative.
He tweeted: “Warmly welcome this big-hearted decision from so many Premier League footballers to create #PlayersTogether to support NHS Charities. You are playing your part.”
Former England captain and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said he was “proud of our players”.
“Footballers are doing their bit as I was confident they would,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Let’s hope that others that are in a position to help, those that weren’t unfairly targeted, do likewise.”
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