Premier League players have formed an initiative called #PlayersTogether in which they will provide funds for the NHS to battle the coronavirus crisis.
Stars from Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and more have joined forces for the movement and have teamed up with NHS Charities Together to ‘distribute funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most’.
The move comes amid criticism from health secretary Matt Hancock, who called for Premier League players to take a pay cut.
A collective statment, posted by many players on social media 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 Covid19 crisis; helping those fighting for us on the NHS frontline as well as other key areas of need,’ a statement read.
‘This is a critical time for our country and for our NHS, and we are determined to help in any way that we can.
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‘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, Demartment of Health and Social Care, and NHS England to represent, champion, and suport the NHS’ official charities. NHSCT are the official charity partner of the NHS nationally.
‘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.’
NHSCT chief executive Ellie Orton said: ‘This is a fantastic initiative from the Premier League players that will raise vital funds for our appeal but will also inspire many others to give donations as well.
‘It will make a huge difference to us to have the players on board and sends an amazing message of support to the NHS staff and volunteers working so tirelessly to save lives and keep our friends and families safe and well.
‘I can’t wait to get working with the players to look at where their support can make the biggest difference, so thank you to them for coming together like this, we are really excited by the possibilities it creates for the appeal.’
There was widespread praise for the move on social media.
Ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore added: ‘Those pesky professional footballers, donating millions to the NHS while simultaneously paying £1bn into the exchequer.
‘Looking forward to you @Peston [journalist Robert Peston], asking the Barclay Brothers who you work for, to do the same. I’ll wait.’
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