At a time when footballers are receiving a bad press over wages during the global health crisis, West Ham United legend Joe Cole has stepped up.

Frontline key workers and NHS staff on low pay are putting their lives at risk in the fight against coronavirus.

Football has found itself at the centre of an ugly situation and West Ham – with an annual wage bill of £60million – are one of the club’s under scrutiny.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady says clubs face financial ruin if players do not take a 30% cut in wages during the enforced break (The Sun).

Photo by Justin Setterfield Getty Images

Football in ugly situation over pay cuts

The Daily Mail reports captains of all 20 Premier League clubs have set up a WhatsApp group to come together to battle against plans to force top-flight stars into significant wage cuts.

But their revolt appears to have intensified with The Daily Mirror claiming the 20 captains have now banded together to reject the plans, which one skipper is believed to have branded ‘disgusting’.

That has not gone down well with the general public, who are supporting new heroes at the moment.

West Ham’s focus was on the battle for survival before the coronavirus took hold. But now the survival fight has become very real.

Joe Cole Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Classy Hammers legend Cole steps up when it matters most

So it will warm the hearts of Hammers fans that homegrown West Ham legend Joe Cole has stepped up to the plate when it matters most.


Cole has helped set up a new charity with his wife to help provide equipment and funds for the NHS.

Cole has donated £25,000 of his own money to launch Heroes – Help Them Help Us which has purchased 50 3D printers to build thousands of medical visors for frontline NHS staff.

The West Ham academy graduate’s fund has also sent food packages to NHS workers, provided childcare and is offering therapy to healthcare workers on the frontline of the crisis.

Photo by West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Cole, Fornals and co show some in football are doing their bit

The charity has received over £180,000 in donations from the public.

Last week Cole’s fellow West Ham academy graduate and close friend Mark Noble lauded NHS staff on social media.

Noble called on all Premier League clubs to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off of the first game back when football eventually returns – read full story here.

Meanwhile West Ham’s Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals has made a donation to the hospital in his hometown of Castellon de la Plana to aid their fight against the potentially fatal disease.

While talks are ongoing between the leagues and the Professional Footballers’ Association over wage deferrals to help those within clubs, a number of players have already stepped up to help where they can in their communities.

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