12 nice things clubs & players have done to help amid the coronavirus outbreak

Quick Reads
Jordan Henderson

Football has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak – but it has led to clubs helping their local communities.  

Liverpool and Manchester United stars are among the players who have made amazing gestures of goodwill over the last few weeks.

We’ve looked at 12 occasions where the football world has tried to make a difference and help people who have been affected by the coronavirus.

Jordan Henderson

The Fans Supporting Foodbanks scheme in Liverpool relies heavily on collections outside Anfield on matchdays, but that has been interrupted by the suspension of the football season.

However, Henderson contacted West Derby MP Ian Byrne to say that Liverpool’s players wanted to help and the club will donate £10,000 per game for the four remaining home league fixtures

“Jordan told me that he’d seen our appeal and the players wanted to help,” Byrne said.

“Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty and concern in our communities at the moment so any kind of offer like this is really important because it shows the kind of solidarity that we are clearly going to need.

“Without going into any great detail, the players have committed to covering all of the shortfalls that we will incur as a result of not being able to hold our usual match day collections.

“This isn’t the first time that the Liverpool players have shown us this kind of support and, although what they’ve done on the pitch this season has been incredible, I’d argue that this kind of gesture is even more important, especially at a time like this.”

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has also donated £41,000 to health authorities in Senegal.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford has done a lot of charity work in his local area and the 22-year-old is now working with the Fareshare charity to help provide food to children while schools are closed across the UK.

He has made a large financial donation himself and is now encouraging others to help out.

Real Valladolid

Real Valladolid have rejected La Liga’s offer of coronavirus test kits because there are people in Spain who need those resources more.

“La Liga offered them to us [the tests] but we have not taken them for medical and social reasons,” club spokesman David Espinar said in a statement.

“No player has presented any symptoms and we believe that there are people out there who are much less well off than we are who need them far more than we do. It is those [people] who should have priority.”

Fellow La Liga side Celta Vigo have now followed in their footsteps by refusing the test kits.

Aston Villa

Before Premier League games were suspended last week, clubs had prepared a lot of hot wood for the supporter kiosks and hospitality lounges

Instead of letting it go to waste, Villa decided to donate hundreds of meals to various homeless charities in the local area and Brighton have since made a similar gesture.

Paul Pogba

The Manchester United midfielder has set up a fundraising page and pledged financial support to Unicef to help children affected by the virus.

Pogba is also hoping to provide disposable gloves, surgical masks and vented goggles for health workers, and he will double the fund if his goal of £27,000 is reached.

“The impact of a large-scale outbreak, especially on poor and vulnerable children, can be immense,” Pogba said.

“It’s my birthday and I’m always grateful that me, my family and friends are healthy. Nonetheless, not everybody is in good health right now.

“At times like this we need to come together.”

Kasper Schmeichel 

Schmeichel has donated £20,000 to the charity Age UK as they launch a Covid Care campaign in Leicester.

The elderly are among the most vulnerable so the money will help bring them care packages, phone calls and home visits to keep them safe and well.

“Now more than ever charities like Age UK need our help. Let’s do all we can to protect our elderly,” Schmeichel said.

Everton

Everton committed £50,000 to launch a new ‘Blue Family’ outreach programme which will provide support and assistance to the most vulnerable, socially-isolated and at-risk people during the outbreak.

They also donated fresh food from the club’s Finch Farm training ground to a foodbank in the city as their players are currently training from home.

Manchester United & City

United and City have put their rivalries aside to try and help vulnerable people affected by the outbreak in Manchester.

The two sides will donate a combined sum of £100,000 to the Trussell Trust’s 19 food bank centres in the Greater Manchester area.

“We are proud of the role our supporters play in helping local food banks and recognise the increased strain likely to be placed on these charities by the impact of coronavirus,” City and United said in a joint statement.

 “At a time of challenge for our community, we are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United.”

Wilfired Zaha

Zaha already gives 10% of his Crystal Palace salary to charity and the winger is now helping to ease the strain on the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

The 27-year-old co-owns a property firm in London and he’ll be offering rent-free accommodation at 50 properties to health workers.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Italy is currently the centre of the pandemic in Europe and Ibrahimovic has done his bit to help.

The AC Milan striker has set up an online fundraiser to support hospitals and medical staff, and he has pledged €100,000 to the cause himself.

“Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love,” Ibrahimovic said.

“I count on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away.

“Together we can really help hospitals and doctors and nurses who selflessly work every day to save our lives. Because today we are the ones cheering for them!”

Borussia Monchengladbach

The Monchengladbach players have voluntarily offered to sacrifice part of their salary, with coach Marco Rose and the club’s directors following suit.

They’ve done this to help keep the club afloat and to alleviate financial worries for other employees during the coronavirus outbreak.

Stockport County 

The decision to suspend football fixtures during the outbreak has left a lot of non-league clubs financially vulnerable, but Stockport have still tried to help.

The National League side have donated £75,000 to Stockport NHS Foundation Trust to help pay for equipment which will treat patients with severe symptoms.

“Stockport is a town and club with enormous community spirit and we’ll support each other at this difficult time,” County owner Mark Stott said.

“Unfortunately, many people within the Stockport area will be affected by coronavirus and we wish them a speedy recovery.

“The NHS do a phenomenal job and on behalf of myself, the club and the supporters we would like to thank them for their selfless work during this unprecedented time.”


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