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Premier League players unite to launch #PlayersTogether

PlayersTogether initiative

Premier League Players have come together to launch a new initiative to support the NHS, called #PlayersTogether

Premier League players have joined forces to launch the #PlayersTogether initiative aimed at generating much-needed funds for NHS charities. It comes in response to some questioning the role elite footballers are playing amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hanocock said Premier League players should ‘play their part’ and perhaps take a pay cut to help out with much of the country struggling financially.

The stated aim of the #PlayersTogether initiative is to “help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline” amid the current coronavirus crisis. The statement, which was first released on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson’s Instagram account, said that it would partner with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT). The NHSCT represents over 140 NHS charities, and the statement added it would aim to “assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.”

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Players Criticism Unfair?

From the outside looking in, it can appear that elite footballers live a lavish lifestyle, with money being no objective and appearance and image being the only thing that matters. However, when you dig a little deeper, this is mostly not the case. Many footballers take an active role in helping their local communities.

The fact that they do not actively shout from the rooftops about all the charity work they do, should not count against them. Some would say with their massive wages they are an easy target. This certainly seemed to be the case when Mr Hancock claimed they should play their part. Those that do not follow the game closely may struggle to separate the millionaire footballers from the billionaire owners. Those who own these clubs often live in tax havens yet haven’t come under as much pressure as the players themselves.

Those involved in football, such as Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, always believed players would contribute. Following the news of the initiative launching, Lineker took to social media to write “Footballers are doing their bit as I was confident, they would. Let’s hope that others that are in a position to help, those that weren’t unfairly targeted, do likewise.”

How Did the Initiative Come About?

Just last week it was announced that Premier League clubs would ask their players to take a 30% pay cut in order to protect the jobs of non-playing staff. However, players were conscious of where this money would eventually end up and wanted to ensure anything, they contribute goes to those who need it most.

The Professional Footballers’ Association said that players were cautious about taking a pay cut, adding players were mindful of their social responsibilities. It is thought several players conducted meetings via Zoom and other online platforms, to try and come up with an idea that could be of benefit. This resulted in the #PlayersTogether initiative.

#PlayersTogether Warmly Received

The reaction to the announcement has been very positive. The chief executive of NHS Charities Together thanked the players for their amazing work. Ellie Orton said, It sends an amazing message of support to the NHS staff and volunteers working so tirelessly to save lives.

The players themselves have always insisted they were working behind the scenes to agree on the best idea to help the NHS. Manchester Utd and England striker Marcus Rashford said “I think there has been plenty of occasions, for me personally, where we’ve tried to help but we’ve not helped in the best way possible. You can get some backlash from that. We wanted to take our time with the decision”.

The players have stepped up the plate and in truth it was never really in doubt. Perhaps it is now time those with considerable wealth who have not received the same criticism should do the same.

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