West Ham United players are being urged to join a coronavirus fighting fund set up by their Premier League contemporaries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world and shutdown all football for the foreseeable future.
For West Ham fans it is an enforced break in a torrid season which sees them battling for survival.
The pause button has been pressed on West Ham’s relegation scrap for now.
Whether it resumes or not remains to be seen amid growing uncertainty. West Ham vice-chairman made her opinion clear from the outset that the campaign should be “null and void”.
West Ham and football given time to reflect in crisis
Although she has since backtracked somewhat after reportedly upsetting Hammers co-owner David Sullivan (Daily Mail).
In the meantime debate has raged about salaries in football at the top level.
While footballers continue to pick up six-figure weekly salaries despite not playing, frontline NHS staff are putting their lives on the line to save ours for low pay.
There has also been a spotlight on underfunding in key scientific areas while football is awash with riches.
Many fans – including lots of West Ham supporters – have been calling for that to all change after the coronavirus wake-up call.
Some Premier League stars doing their bit to help
But some Premier League stars are looking to do their bit to help. And West Ham’s players – and those from all 19 other top flight clubs – are being urged to join the fight.
Premier League stars including Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka have launched #FootballUnited – a new initiative with the aim of raising at least £100,000 to help local communities through the coronavirus pandemic.
Bellerin and Wan-Bissaka are joined by Chelsea’s Reece James, Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend and England striker Callum Wilson in pledging their support.
“The players already driving forward this campaign want fellow professionals across the nation to follow suit and show their support for #FootballUnited,” Sky Sports reports.
“With players tagging social media campaign posts with the words #FootballUnited, it is hoped fellow team-mates and football figures will lend their support and drive donations to help communities across the UK recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
West Ham’s big earners must step up for public show of support
The campaign is being co-ordinated by Unique Sports Management (USM), after the idea was raised by several of its clients. USM kicked things off themselves with a £10,000 donation.
West Ham have some huge earners on their books.
Andriy Yarmolenko picks up £115,000 per week. Jack Wilshere £100,000 per week. Sebastien Haller £100,000, Felipe Anderson £85,000, Pablo Zabaleta £75,000, Manuel Lanzini £70,000 and Carlos Sanchez £50,000 to name but a few (Spotrac).
Captain Mark Noble too should be leading the group by example.
Some fans would argue many of them have not been justifying their wages all season, let alone when the club look set to be out of action for months.
So West Ham’s top earning stars should club together to supporter the fund and show they care too.
Of course privately West Ham’s players may already be doing something to help.
Kudos if they are.
But a public show of support is needed. Not only to raise awareness but as much money as possible in this unprecedented fight.
“Now is the time for the football community to show solidarity and work together to help those who need urgent help, resources and care,” says USM boss Marlon Fleischman (Sky Sports).