Players from the Premier League have launched the #PlayersTogether campaign to help the National Health Service with its COVID-19 treatment and relief efforts.
The statement read:
"We can confirm that after extensive conversations between a huge number of players from all Premier League clubs we have created our own collective player initiative, #PlayersTogether, and have partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) in order to assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most."
A number of stars have already signaled their support for the campaign:
Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested Premier League footballers should accept pay cuts amid the ongoing pandemic.
According to ESPN FC's Mark Ogden, league officials were in discussions with the Professional Footballers' Association about a plan in which players would defer 30 percent of their salaries.
The PFA issued a statement criticizing the approach.
"The proposed 30 percent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government," the group wrote. "What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?"
The PFA added that "players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis," and were assessing the optimal way to contribute to the cause.
Like almost every other major sports league in the world, the Premier League remains on hold to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Mirror's David Maddock reported league executives were working with government officials toward a possible return in June.
The World Health Organization has confirmed 60,733 cases of the coronavirus and 7,097 deaths in connection to the disease in the UK, per CNN.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was placed in intensive care Tuesday after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 27.