West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to “do his homework” and show Premier League players “respect” after the launch of #PlayersTogether yesterday evening.
The charitable fund, devised by captains and key players at Premier League clubs, will work alongside NHS Charities Together to financially support those helping to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Hancock had publicly called on footballers “to play their part” and accept pay cuts and responded to the launch of #PlayersTogether by “warmly welcoming their big-hearted decision”.
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Several players had expressed their frustration with Hancock’s decision to single them out and had already been exploring charitable avenues to support those responding to the crisis.
“Thanks @MattHancock it’s great to have your backing,” Snodgrass wrote on Twitter. “In future do your homework on what we do and who we are as people before coming for us.
“Over £1bn in tax and NI payments doesn’t even earn RESPECT anymore. It’s not about us it’s about the real heroes…The NHS.”
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford stressed the importance of “getting the money to the right places” in an interview with BT Sport, with players wary of any pay cuts benefiting club owners as opposed to those affected by the crisis.
“For us we want to help in the best way possible, getting the money to the right places is a massive thing,” Rashford said. “It took a lot of time, a lot of conversations between the players. We came to a decision that this was best way to do it, the club have supported that so everyone’s happy.
“There’s been plenty of occasions, for me personally, when you’ve tried to help but you’ve not helped in the best way possible and you can get backlash for that.”
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