The NHS is in line for a huge, multi-million pounds pay-out courtesy of players from every Premier League club.
A fund is being set up and coordinated by the Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who has been working on the idea for a week now and has been in contact with captains from all 20 top-flight clubs. All have offered him their support.
News of the fund, which Henderson was keen to keep under wraps until it was up and running, leaked out a day after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock criticised the country’s football stars for not “doing their bit" and taking a pay cut during the Covid-19 crisis. Behind the scenes they were.
ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott explains the significance of Friday's developments
Details of exactly how the fund will work are still in their infancy because of the complexity of the project, but Henderson will take advice directly from the government and NHS as to where the money is best directed, but the intention is for it to go to frontline staff.
Criticism of players has intensified over the past week after Tottenham Hotspur revealed it was furloughing 550 of its non-playing staff on 80 per cent wages and claiming through the government’s emergency bail out scheme.
It also comes at a time when the PFA, the players union, has been slow to agree to any adjustment in players wages throughout the football period until it has seen data on the financial health of each and every club.
The union does not accept that players should be bailing out clubs because they say that only benefits the shareholders; the richest clubs they maintain should be protecting their staff themselves, and certainly not using tax payer’s money.
In the case of Henderson’s plan, everybody wins: The NHS gets a substantial donation and the players still pay tax on their income.
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