Premier League players launch campaign to help fund National Health Service
Players in the Premier League have started a campaign called #PlayersTogether to help raise and distribute money for Britain's National Health Service (NHS) as the coronavirus spreads throughout the globe.
"This is a critical time for our country and for our NHS, and we are determined to help in any way we can," read a statement posted to multiple players' social media accounts on Wednesday.
"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.
#PlayersTogether 🙌🏾 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. @NHSCharities pic.twitter.com/S7LtJVcdzh— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) April 8, 2020
"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 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."
Tottenham and England captain Harry Kane, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester City star Fernandinho were among the players to tweet a statement on Wednesday with the hashtag #Playerstogether.
The initiative comes days after the Premier League players' union questioned the logic of a proposed 30% player-pay deferral plan, arguing the measure would reduce tax revenue for the NHS.
A video meeting between the Premier League, its players, representatives and the Professional Footballers' Association took place on Saturday in an effort to resolve the situation surrounding wages following high-profile criticism of the league's earning power.
In addition to the deferral plan, the league on Friday had also sanctioned a £20m donation to the NHS to support the battle against the coronavirus.
The Premier League is suspended indefinitely along with the rest of Europe's top leagues.