Yesterday, Arsenal confirmed that matchday and non-matchday casual workers will continue to be paid to ease their financial concerns during this challenging period.
For the moment, they’ve guaranteed payment until 30 April and they’ve promised to revisit the situation when football is inevitably postponed even further.
Today, the club has also gone public on a number of other initiatives to support communities in and around N5 and those farther afield to whom we already have charitable responsibilities.
£100,000 has been donated to local charities and organisations to support Islington’s most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. A further £50,000, already donated by the Arsenal Foundation, will be redirected specifically to Islington Giving’s Crisis Fund.
With restrictions on movement now in place in the UK, all Arsenal in the Community cars have been made available to transport frontline NHS mental health workers. They are being driven on a voluntary basis to help NHS workers deliver medication and emergency supplies.
Plans are also being drawn up to create new digital resources to help local school kids continue to learn while stuck at home. Tutors associated with the club are also continuing to deliver classes remotely.
Arsenal’s Coaching For Life programmes in Jakarta, Indonesia and at the Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan – both run in conjunction with Save the Children – have also been affected. For the time being, Gunners coaches will work remotely with local coaches.
Given how fast-moving and disruptive this situation has been, the above action is very welcome. Of course, as this situation drags out even further, the onus will be on the club to keep setting a positive example.
The football community is set to lose a lot of money as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, it should do its utmost not to lose the respect of its punters along the way.