Premier League players join forces to raise money for the NHS

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Arsenal players have joined forces with their Premier League peers to launch the #PlayersTogether campaign to raise money for NHS charities.

After discussions between the captains of each top-flight club, the initiative was confirmed last night with a coordinated wave of social media posts.

The biggest names in English football each shared the campaign statement, which reads:

“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 most needed 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.

“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.

“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.”

Two weeks ago, a small group of players, including Hector Bellerin, admirably launched a separate campaign called #FootballUnited to raise £100,000 for the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. There have been numerous reports of other players and staff working alongside charities to raise further funds.

This new initiative appears to have garnered far more traction. A few cynics aside, it has been widely welcomed and is expected to raise millions of pounds via players’ private donations.

It comes just days after health secretary Matt Hancock – channelling his inner Colin Moynihan – said: “Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS who have made the ultimate sacrifice… I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part.”

The issue of pay cuts remains unresolved. The Premier League asked players to accept a wage cut of 30% only for the PFA to reject the suggestion. After reaching for their calculator, they pointed out the taxman would stand to lose more than it gained if players agreed to the move.

Players are expected to agree to some form of cut or deferral in payment to help their clubs minimise the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, however, they have repeatedly underlined the complexity of the issue making clear a one-size-fits-all solution probably won’t work.

It took only a matter of weeks for clubs across Europe to start panicking about the potential fallout if current domestic campaigns can’t be completed. Not only has matchday revenue been cut off – particularly damaging for small clubs – but the bountiful income from broadcasters also threatens to be curtailed.

It has been estimated that Premier League clubs could lose upwards of £760 million if they can’t find a way to finish the final nine rounds of matches. Sponsorship cash is also expected to take a big hit. If that does come to pass, it could spell ruin for the lower leagues.

On Tuesday, FA chairman Greg Clarke confirmed that contingency plans are being drawn up for the worst-case scenario.

“Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer.

“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.

“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive.

“Everyone should understand that the Premier League clubs are not immune from the impact of this and whilst they are impacted to different degrees depending on their cost base, the potential overall financial impact is huge.

“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and next season blighted.

“We hope we do not need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, however we would be fools not to develop such a contingency plan. Those that lost their clubs because English football did not rise to the challenge would rightly judge us harshly.

“Time is pressing as football burns through its cash reserves with no sign yet of a resumption of the game. Pointing fingers serves no purpose.

“It is time for the stakeholders to agree common cause to save our game. Contribute. Football is a team game and now is the time for teamwork.

“The FA looks forward to working with all football stakeholders to safeguard the future of our game.”

While Belgium and Scotland have been gearing up to call time on their seasons, UEFA sent a letter to all its members warning that the premature ending of competitions could result in them forfeiting Champions League and Europa League places.

FIFA has sought to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football by confirming the summer transfer window will be moved and contracts ending on 30 June will be extended for a short period.

“It is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would,” FIFA said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end.

“A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts, meaning the entry into force of such contracts is delayed until the next season actually does start.

“It is also necessary to adjust the normal regulatory position to the new factual circumstances.

“Accordingly, Fifa will be flexible and allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season.”

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Viva la prof
Viva la prof
1 month ago

If any broadcasters don’t pay tv money then they should lose the rights to show football, same for sponsorship.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Viva la prof

Why?

Sky and BT have both already removed my sport subscription charges.

I’m not paying for something I’m not getting, and Sky and BT won’t be paying for something they’re not getting

Oscandwarf
Oscandwarf
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Thanks for that info – I’ll be checking ours today.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscandwarf

You have to go on to the sky.com website to pause your Sky sports subscription, it’s very easy. I actually paused my BT sports whilst on the phone to them paying the bill, but it is a service they’re offering.

I don’t think either is automatic

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Is it true that you can still carry on watching Sky and BT Sports whilst your subscription is paused? I’m getting mixed messages from their FAQs sections.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

I don’t know, with Sky i think you can, not sure with BT Sport

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

I thought you had paused yours. Are you still able to watch?

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

There’s nothing to watch, so i don’t know

Viva la prof
Viva la prof
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Hairy muff, I didn’t know they had refunded subscriptions

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Viva la prof

Not refunded as far as i can tell but you can pause.

I don’t think they’ve been shouting it out from the rooftops either

A P
A P
1 month ago
Reply to  Viva la prof

Why? The money was paid for 38 rounds of league games. Why shouldn’t broadcasters be refunded if 38 games weren’t delivered?

Goonergeoffers
Goonergeoffers
1 month ago

This is good. Football needs a reset

Oscandwarf
Oscandwarf
1 month ago
Reply to  Goonergeoffers

Just like much of the rest of society matey. Perhaps football can get away from whoring itself to the almighty $ but I won’t hold my breath.

John C
John C
1 month ago

Whilst it’s good for the conscience it will do nothing to mitigate the loss of income sustained by the clubs.

If the season can’t be finished the players are soon going to find out that you can’t keep on drawing the same wages whilst the income has completely stopped.

My guess is if this goes on for much longer it won’t be long until clubs start to furlough players and we’ll see just how shortsighted not accepting a 30% pay cut was from the start.

Riku
Riku
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

I thought the same

I imagine season not again til at least autumn,?!

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

Even the richest clubs won’t be able to carry on without an income until then. I’m sure most if not all clubs are heavily dependent on season ticket renewals around May/June as well.

I wouldn’t want my contract expiring this summer if i was a player, i know that for certain.

Clockendrider
Clockendrider
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Spot on. This posturing by players is utterly meaningless. The tax they pay is a piss in the ocean compared to what the government is putting in and is frankly all PR. The reality is that with no season ticket renewals, no tv money and quite probably reductions in sponsorship revenues football clubs as businesses are all but bankrupt. No income plus massive outgoings mean something has to give. The clubs serve, or at least used to serve, a social purpose as focuses for local pride and as a meeting place for friends all looking to share a release from… Read more »

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Clockendrider

Well exactly, the players have been extremely poorly advised by the The PFA if they just expect the magic money tree to keep on producing bundles of cash, the reality is somewhat different. The players, whom collectively are by far the biggest stakeholders in the Premier League, taking home more than 50% of all revenue generated, are going to find out with that exposure come significant risk whether they like it or not. This is a very myopic response by a group of people who have a very loose grasp on the new financial reality they find themselves in. As… Read more »

A P
A P
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

That Andrew continues to back the players stemming from his distaste of the minister just shows his lack of grasp of reality.

kaius
kaius
1 month ago
Reply to  A P

Arseblog has never absolved players. What he said was – if players are stepping up, billionaire club owners should step up too.

Some of you just like singling out players because they’re easy targets. But footballer’s contributions alone will not solve a problem this big.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  kaius

Nah, Arseblog has an almost pathologic disliking for Kroenke making him almost incapable of having a rational thought on the subject.

kaius
kaius
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Stan Kroenke is worth nearly 10 billion dollars John.

I don’t see how any of us can be comfortable with a situation where Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin are contributing more to this crisis than Kroenke.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  kaius

It’s not about contributing to the crisis, it’s about being paid in full whilst the work you’re contracted to do has stopped, work the company you work for won’t be paid for and their income drying to a trickle. It’s the players, not the owners that take the Lion’s share of the income football generates and it is wholly reasonable that if the job can’t be completed they shouldn’t be paid in full, certainly not at the expense of those employees at the bottom of the pay scale or the clubs very survival. By putting the financial burden on the… Read more »

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  kaius

I responded to this yesterday but for some reason it been moderated and yet to be published.

But anyway, players taking a pay cut has absolutely fuck all to do with “contributing to the crisis” and everything to do with clubs cash flows.

As clockendrider so eloquently put it, footballers tax contribution is a piss in the ocean towards the cost, governments, including the British one are having to print up literally trillions between them to cover the cost!!

Heavy Gunner
Heavy Gunner
1 month ago

A well written blog by the Chief Blogs today- excellent angles on the Big
Problems that face not only the footballing and sports world, but the whole
aspect of the future way of living for Homo Sapiens- well played,sir!

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
1 month ago

Wayne Rooney is absolutely right about that he should have a say in where his money goes rather than a carte blanche pay cut by clubs pressurised by unsavoury politicians like Matt Hancock. The above initiative is the way to do it!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon
1 month ago

Glad that the players are contributing but it’s a shame how it’s all come about and says a lot about our media and our society as a whole. Ultimately wealthy football clubs should not be using the furlough scheme, however neither should other wealthy companies that are no doubt abusing it. The fact that we don’t have that same energy for the likes of Whetherspoons and Virgin Atlantic (or wealthy bankers and business people) really highlights our collectively short attention spans. And the fact that the media have been so easily manipulated by a Tory, whose party has wrecked the… Read more »

Riku
Riku
1 month ago
Reply to  loose_cannon

Whilst I agree with what you have said.

I wonder (genuine question )what fans will make of it if say for example next transfer window team including spurs who have furloughed, spend double what we spend on players, as we held the moral ground for not furloughing. I would not mind.theres more important things But others Aftv etc.. what do people think

Riku
Riku
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

Cont…..Will fans go mad or act up ..?
#staysafe everyone

loose_cannon
loose_cannon
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

In that hypothetical scenario, Tottenham will no doubt get a lot of abuse not just from us but from West Ham and Chelsea fans. But let’s also be real, fans of all football clubs will never turn down an excuse to tear down a rival, doesn’t matter how trivial the issue is. I don’t think anyone will say we did the wrong thing in that scenario.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

I think we have to acknowledge that Spurs have repayments on that £1bn stadium they’ve just moved into, this really could ruin them.

Mentalista
Mentalista
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

You misspelled ‘celebrate’

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

If you remember the lack of tolerance shown by our fans when we moved to the Emirates, I wouldn’t be too optimistic. We’re paying back a huge loan whilst trying to compete against the financial doping of other clubs, and Arsene Wenger is getting all this abuse for not signing big names and for penny pinching. Our fanbase is not as mature or intelligent as it once was.
And as for AFTV – do you really expect common sense from those idiots? Until that channel is closed down, Arsenal will not make much, if any, progress.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

That’s nonsense, not signing the likes of Xabi Alonso or retaining experience like Lauren had nothing to do with paying back a huge loan and everything with Wenger indulging himself in a vanity project.

Overpaying the likes of Denilson, Bendtner and Djourou by a factor of about double their market rate isn’t financial prudence is it?

It was never an either or, black and white decision however Wenger always choose idealism over pragmatism.

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

You have no idea why we didn’t sign this player or that, or what was the market rate of anyone – you’re just speculating and/or believing the crap the media fed you, just like the vast majority, if not all, of the WOBs. Just use common sense – we couldn’t afford to sign the standard of players our rivals were signing, so we had to sign the next best available and hope they could overachieve (which they often did by finishing above some of those rivals, and remaining in the top four every year upto 2016). Nothing to do with… Read more »

Riku
Riku
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

Fabagas said last week Alonso wanted to join. Getting rid of Lauren , edu, Gilberto Silva was just crazy , and Wenger thought he could do no wrong.
If any diaby had not got injured and denilson not got lazy and crap may have worked but was Wenger gamble and risk .
Maybe they wanted higher wages than Wenger wanted to pay. But as he was on the biggest wages of the lot.

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

Why was getting rid of Lauren, Edu, Gilberto Silva “just crazy”? Where do you come out with this random bullshit from? I bet you weren’t calling it crazy at the time. Lauren was finished at that time, and Eboue rightly took his place – a year or so later, we signed Sagna as well. Edu was out of contract. Why would we resign him when we have Gilberto, and Flamini is showing promise, at a time when we really need to save money? And then Gilberto, himself, was more or less finished when we let him go. Please try thinking… Read more »

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

Loads of people thought getting rid of all of our experienced players was a major mistake at the time and they were emphatically proven right.

Could the players listed have played 50 games to the standards they had previously, no, but that’s not why you keep them. You keep them to pass on experience and maintain standards. Instead what we got was the rampant unchecked egos of the likes of Adebayor, Bendtner, Nasri etc, all of whom thought they were doing Arsenal a favour.

It was an unnecessary experiment from which we have never recovered

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

We couldn’t afford to pay top dollar to aging players, who couldn’t play 50 games anymore, just to pass on some experience, whilst paying back a massive debt. What part of that don’t you understand?
With our financial situation, we should have been finishing midtable (like we may do this season) – it was ridiculous how Arsene Wenger kept us in the top four every year. If your ideas were employed instead, we’d be the next Leeds or Portsmouth.

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

We had the third or fourth biggest wage budget at the time so we could certainly afford it, but we choose to overpay unproven youngsters instead. The best youngsters should have been kept and supported by experience with the others being sold to finance the endeavour. Instead we gave away our experience, overpaid the youth in the hope they’d grow into it, which they didn’t and then eventually release them because no club was prepared to take on their ridiculous wages. Skilful management of contracts could have seen big cash windfalls from the sale of the likes of a Bendtner… Read more »

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  John C

Are you sure we had “the third or fourth biggest wage budget” at the time? How do you know this? Are/were you the club’s accountant? Who were the two or three with bigger wage budgets than us? If you’re right, then we ought to have finished third or fourth every year anyway, which is where we did finish in the vast majority of the post-Invincibles era (just twice above and twice below). You never saw anything unfold; you were just brainwashed by talksport, who hated Arsene Wenger, and took your negativity to the stands, which then transmitted onto the pitch… Read more »

John C
John C
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

We had the third or fourth highest wage bills because financial results are published, which incidentally is why finishing in those positions wasn’t a particularly great achievement.

Yes, I and many others could see the direction the club was taking whilst the decision were being made and were vocal about it for years. The person making those decisions deserves the criticism for result or those actions not fans for voicing an opinion.

I’ve never listened to talk sport

Riku
Riku
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

It’s about competition for places as well, Ferguson at its kept Scholes, Giggs etc til they were 38,39. Still winning trophies as everyone know am experienced players was breathing down their neck. It raised standard and professionalism at the club
If you every thought about it..

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  Riku

I think you’ll find we did have competition for places, but just between young players. We couldn’t afford to keep the older players, whilst paying for the stadium. Imagine if we had given Pires that two-year contact on his wages, and he had broken down in the first year.
You can’t compare our situation to Manchester United’s. Their finances were far superior to ours, and Ferguson had the referees and authorities in his pocket.

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  loose_cannon

I can’t be bothered to have a go at the Tories anymore; I blame the pricks who voted for them. How can anyone watch what happened to Grenfell Tower, watch the cuts to the police and NHS, all whilst there was a genuine alternative in Jeremy Corbyn for the first time in a generation, and still vote Tory? As far as I’m concerned, every Tory voter in the last two elections is a mass murderer. With regards to wealthy people outside of footballers escaping blame, I think you need to change your choice of media. You should watch a lot… Read more »

Torterrier
Torterrier
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

Completely agree Luther. Well said.

kaius
kaius
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

I understand your anger, but we have to blame politicians and their mates in the right-wing media (incl. the shameless BBC) who fooled those voters into believing Brexit was the most important issue in a generation. Less than six months after the Brexit election, Covid-19 has wiped that all-important subject off the front pages. And all Brexit did was weaken the NHS and leave us with a bunch of politicians who didn’t take the warnings of scientists and experts seriously *UNTIL IT AFFECTED THEM PERSONALLY*. Oh and it also fooled otherwise good people into thinking right-wing stupidity was ‘common sense’.… Read more »

Luther
Luther
1 month ago
Reply to  kaius

Yes politicians are to blame, but they shouldn’t have been elected in in the first place. With the advent of social media, there really isn’t any excuse for voters to be fooled in 2017 and 2019. One can get news from sources other than Sky, BBC, tabloid newspapers, etc. People can watch RT News (511 on the Sky package) or read https://www.thecanary.co/ to name just two.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon
1 month ago
Reply to  Luther

That’s a good point, a lot of the people clapping for the NHS every Thursday are the same that have been voting for its downfall for 10 years now! And we can’t forget how Brexit alienated thousands of NHS workers and led to an exodus of nurses. Good thing we’ll be getting that 350m a week to cover the economic fallout of this virus! And don’t get me started on Windrush. I totally get that football in general should give more to the country in this time of need, but I find it hard to get that animated by it… Read more »

kaius
kaius
1 month ago
Reply to  loose_cannon

Absolutely man. Conservatives (knowing the NHS and the elderly rely on nurses and care workers earning less than 30k a year) tried to ban skilled workers who’d make less than £30,000 from entering the UK. Now they beg for NHS volunteers.

Don’t get me started on Windrush either

kaius
kaius
1 month ago

Nice round-up.

Sadly there’s no paragraph telling us how much the politicians, bankers (who are currently making a fortune short-selling*) and landowners like the Royal Family (who’ve earnt money without lifting a pinky finger for literally 100’s of years) are giving up or donating.

Well done to the players – but what a messed up society we live in.

*(https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks-shortselling/u-s-market-sell-off-brings-short-sellers-344-billion-profit-idUKKBN21811E)

TOGooner
TOGooner
1 month ago

Hector is a good dude

Nognir
Nognir
1 month ago

Sorry but it appears no more than a PR stunt to me. Harping about pay cut affecting tax outgo is pinnacle of lawyer speak. I am surprised do many (inc Andrew) fell for it.
As for Ronney’s statement, taking a pay cut would have seen his money go to the non playing staff, most of which need it more than him.

Jdog
Jdog
1 month ago
Reply to  Nognir

completely agree. It’s interesting to see how on the bbc the majority are tearing this apart as nothing more than a PR stunt whereas on Arseblog people have bought into the initiatives. Goes to show the followers of this once excellent website will follow anything Andrew says. In fairness to him, I agreed with a lot of what was said in yesterday’s blog (regarding Rooney being right urgh) but then I looked into it deeper and it appears to be a pretty gritty arrangement.

Jdog
Jdog
1 month ago
Reply to  Jdog

*grotty