Premier League plan £3m donation to the NHS during talks for Covid-19 player vaccines

Premier League plan £3m donation to the NHS during talks for Covid-19 player vaccines

The Premier League considered a £3million donation to the NHS following talks last month regarding the vaccination of players against Covid-19, according to reports.

The Athletic claim that some top-flight clubs believed the league could have bought a number of coronavirus vaccines and then donated the money currently spent on testing to the NHS.

The same outlet reports that the money could have gone to several health charities or in the form of a one-off payment to NHS workers, and counter any negative publicity that came their way.

However, other top-flight sides and the UK government are said to have believed that bad publicity would have come their way had footballers been vaccinated before some elderly people.

That has led clubs into accepting the fact that they will have to wait for their Covid-19 jabs, as well as having to undergo regular testing until the end of the season.

There were 36 positive tests in the Premier League between January 4 and 10 but that figure has since dropped significantly, with just two new positive tests recorded between February 1 and February 7.

Sean Dyche and Jose Mourinho were among Premier League bosses to have their say when discussions took place at the peak of the third coronavirus wave last month.

Last month, Burnley boss Dyche stressed that players should not be put ahead of the most vulnerable, but he added: 'It's my view, I think vaccination is the way forward throughout football.

'The amount of money being spent on testing in the Premier League, if that was channelled back into the NHS and into the vaccination system, surely that's a better place to be than continually testing footballers.'

But Tottenham manager Mourinho disagreed, saying players should not be seen as a priority.

'I wouldn't [agree]. Maybe it's controversial, maybe people disagree with me but I wouldn't. There are people in much bigger risks than we, and especially young football players, are.

'I feel that people on the front line every day -- health workers and older people -- of course, I think they should be in front. But that's just my feeling.'

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher also disagreed with Dyche, telling Good Morning Britain last month that while the idea might appear practical, it would not be right.

'The situation the country is in with vaccinations, if footballers were put to the top of the list for vaccinations when people a lot more at risk up and down the country, such as the over 80s and over 70s, who are more susceptible to Covid-19, I don't think it would go down well at all,' he said.

'The situation now is right. Players are as safe as they possibly can be getting tested. With vaccinations it has to start with the elderly and people with underlying illness issues who are affected a lot more with Covid-19 and we need to do that as quickly as possible.'

England 1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst also joined sporting legends last week by issuing a rallying cry to the nation urging everyone eligible for a Covid vaccine to 'just get it done' to protect themselves and the country.

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