Football: Premier League stars launch fund to 'help' Britain's health service in coronavirus fight

Tottenham’s Harry Kane was among players posting about the move on social media.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane was among players posting about the move on social media.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Premier League players announced on Wednesday (April 8) they had launched an intitiative to generate funds for Britain's National Health Service (NHS) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea - named #PlayersTogether - has been set up to "help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline" amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

"It is about we, as players, collaborating together to create a voluntary initiative, separate to any other league and club conversation," a statement from the group said.

"To try and help, along with so many others in the country, to make a real difference," it added.

Individuals such as league leaders Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson, Tottenham's Harry Kane and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were among those to post on social media about the move.

Earlier this week, the Premier League proposed wage cuts of 30 per cent but talks have hit a stumbling block, with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) warning the NHS could suffer from the loss of tax receipts.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock was among senior politicians calling for players to take a cut and "play their part".

On Tuesday, English Football Association chief Greg Clarke called on players and fans to "share the pain to keep the game alive".

Appearing at an FA Council meeting, Clarke warned football faces economic challenges "beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it" as a result of the health emergency.

Spurs have come under pressure from fans to follow Jurgen Klopp's side in reversing their decision to use public money to pay employees.

The Reds, the European champions and the world's seventh richest club, ditched their controversial plan to furlough some of their non-playing staff during the virus on Monday after coming under intense pressure from ex-players and fans.

More than 60,00 people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Britain, and more than 7,000 have died from the virus.