The Premier League have agreed to donate £20m to the NHS to help support the relief efforts in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The global pandemic has decimated sporting schedules with leagues across all sports shutting down en masse as the virus continues to spread all over the world.
Attention has turned to what football can do to help other areas of society that are struggling to cope.
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Health secretary Matt Hancock called on players to take wage cuts or deferrals on Thursday with the league now confirming that they will make a sizeable donation to help staff on the frontline.
“Further to that assistance, the League remains committed to supporting the National Health Service, its staff and helping people in communities, not least those who are most vulnerable,” a statement read.
“The League, clubs, players and managers express huge appreciation for the heroic efforts of NHS staff and all other key workers who are carrying out critical jobs in such difficult circumstances.
“In consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Premier League is immediately committing £20 million to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need.
“This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.”
Captains of all 20 clubs – led by skipper of league leaders Liverpool Jordan Henderson – have also met via conference call in recent days with an agreement over a plan to donate further money likely.
Clubs have also now unanimously agreed to consult with their players concerning a 30 per cent wage deferral to assist with the payment of non-playing staff during the pandemic.
“In the face of substantial and continuing losses for the 2019-20 season since the suspension of matches began, and to protect employment throughout the professional game, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration,” the statement continued.
“This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change. The league will be in regular contact with the PFA and the union will join a meeting which will be held tomorrow between the league, players and club representatives.”
It has also been acknowledged that the season will not begin again in May, with the restart date to be kept under constant review.
The league also confirmed an immediate advance of £125million to the EFL and the National League as they continue to sharply feel the pinch of the knock-on effects of the pandemic.
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