Liverpool captain, other EPL skippers set up crisis fund
• Restart Date Pushed Back
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is organising a ‘Premier League coronavirus crisis fund’ that is set to raise millions for the NHS.It has been reported that the England midfielder has spent much of this week contacting the captains of other Premier League clubs to pitch the idea to his fellow players.
The Times report that the scheme was thought up prior to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s scathing comments about footballers needing to ‘play their part’ amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, all 20 Premier League clubs will meet via video and it is accepted by all that there is no hope of professional games being played immediately after the current 30 April deadline.
The Premier League could shift the date back into May or opt to follow Spain and France, who have shut down their leagues for an indefinite period.
Italy have talked of Serie A returning in late May, but that seems optimistic.
European governing body Uefa has written a joint letter with the European Clubs’ Association and the European Leagues urging domestic bodies not to abandon their competitions. Leagues across Europe have been told that ending competitions early could result in them forfeiting Champions League and Europa League places.
Pushing the date back would allow Premier League clubs the chance to offer their stadiums and medical staff to the National Health Service, knowing they would not be required in the short term.
That would at least correct some of the negative publicity that has accompanied news that four clubs, including Tottenham, are already using the government’s furlough scheme to compensate laid-off workers by up to £2,500-a-month, despite their players and manager Jose Mourinho, some of whom earn in excess of £100,000-a-week, remaining on full pay.
Talks between the Premier League, Football League and both the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and League Managers’ Association (LMA) are continuing, with clubs expected to be updated at yesterday’s meeting.