Coro­n­avirus: How foot­ball stars and clubs are help­ing in the fight

As the world con­tin­ues to grap­ple with the COVID-19 pan­demic, foot­ball stars and clubs are do­ing their bit to help their clubs and home­lands. Here are a few stories of how foot­ball is help­ing in the fight.

Deutsche Welle (English edition) - - Front Page -

As the world con­tin­ues to grap­ple with the COVID-19 pan­demic, foot­ball stars and clubs are do­ing their bit to help their clubs and home­lands. Here are a few stories of how foot­ball is help­ing in the fight.

Dort­mund fans help lo­cal busi­nesses

Borus­sia Dort­mund fans have do­nated more than €70,000 ($75,600) to bars and restau­rants around the sta­dium which have been closed due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The Ger­man side posted the names of 86 food and drink out­lets dur­ing a 'vir­tual foot­ball' night on Sun­day on the club's web­site.

Fans were urged to click on the places they bought their beer, fries, sausages and other match­day sta­ples and of­fer a donation to keep the busi­nesses afloat.

Neuer backs Bay­ern scheme Bay­ern Mu­nich play­ers are do­nat­ing 20 per­cent of their wages in or­der to pay other club em­ploy­ees. Manuel Neuer has spo­ken about the ini­tia­tive, de­scrib­ing foot­ballers as be­ing in a "priv­i­leged group, for whom it is a given to make fi­nan­cial cut­backs in times of emer­gency”. Union lat­est club to cut wages Union Ber­lin be­came the lat­est Bundesliga side to agree salary re­duc­tions with play­ers on Wed­nes­day in a bid to re­duce the fi­nan­cial im­pact of the coro­n­avirus on the club.

"The team has had very good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the club from the first day," cap­tain Christo­pher Trem­mel told a news con­fer­ence via video call. "Ev­ery­one is ready to help the club."

Union hope to avoid re­dun­dan­cies but a por­tion of the club's work­force is likely to be of­fered re­duced hours with wage cuts.

Guardi­ola and Messi do­nate a mil­lion

Former Bay­ern Mu­nich coach Pep Guardi­ola has do­nated €1 mil­lion ($1.08 mil­lion) to help the coro­n­avirus in his na­tive Spain, which has over­taken China as the sec­ond hard­est-hit coun­try by the pan­demic.

Guardi­ola, who is back at his home in Barcelona, has made his donation to a cam­paign be­ing pro­moted by the Med­i­cal Col­lege of Barcelona and the An­gel Soler Daniel Foun­da­tion. Lionel Messi has also do­nated the same amount, with his donation help­ing to buy equip­ment such as gloves, masks, and res­pi­ra­tors in Spain and his na­tive Ar­gentina. Brighton pledge free tick­ets English Pre­mier League team Brighton have pledged 1,000 tick­ets to UK health work­ers for fu­ture matches when the coro­n­avirus pan­demic is over. "We fully ap­pre­ci­ate foot­ball is the last thing on any­one's minds at this mo­ment, but we feel this is a small way in which we can show our grat­i­tude for NHS staff," said Paul Bar­ber, Brighton's CEO.

How­ever, given that Brighton are yet to win a game in 2020, it's de­bat­able whether the club's kind of­fer is a show of grat­i­tude or fur­ther pun­ish­ment.

Bees' staff stung by re­dun­dan­cies

It's not all pos­i­tive news, though, with the smaller clubs fac­ing an ex­is­ten­tial threat. Bar­net, a non-league team in north Lon­don, are in the process of mak­ing 60 non-play­ing staff re­dun­dant. The play­ers' con­tracts are pro­tected and can­not be ter­mi­nated early.

"Foot­ballers are pro­tected in the game, but my sym­pa­thies in this cri­sis lie with the clean­ers, the re­cep­tion­ists, the mar­ket­ing guys straight out of col­lege, the match-day stew­ards who will lose their money which keeps them go­ing in the week,” said Bar­net owner Tony Klean­t­hous. "These are the peo­ple no­body thinks of."

Guardi­ola and Messi have each do­nated a mil­lion eu­ros.

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