A host of Premier League stars have backed a new campaign launched by the football agency Unique Sports Management to raise £100,000 for local communities during the coronavirus crisis.
USM, who are one of the biggest agencies in the country and look after clients such as Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Callum Wilson and Reece James, have pledged £10,000 to #FootballUnited.
And the initiative is being supported by Manchester United right-back Wan-Bissaka, Bournemouth and England striker Wilson, Chelsea full-back James, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend.
Donations to #FootballUnited will be collected through the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, which is backed by The Duke of Cambridge.
It is hoped that footballers across the country will back the campaign by using the #FootballUnited message on social media posts as well as making personal donations.
A joint statement on behalf of the players who have launched the campaign said: “Football has such a big role to play in communities and our clubs are a huge part of people’s lives.
“Without football, we want to put our rivalries aside and show togetherness at such a critical moment for the country. These are uncertain times for communities, but as players we want to show some recognition for the incredible work that is being done for the most vulnerable.
“There are so many people at home who are afraid, alone and without full-time care. With the nation’s help, we can show our support to the many volunteers and organisations who need funds to make sure vital food and medicine supplies will continue to be delivered during the crisis.
“As players we would love nothing more than to be out there playing in front of packed stadiums again, but that can wait – the most important thing right now is the future of the country and #FootballUnited is our way of showing some community spirit.”
Marlon Fleischman, managing director at Unique Sports Management, said: “At such an unprecedented time, we are proud to support our players striving to make positive change through #FootballUnited.
“Now is the time for the football community to show solidarity and work together to help those who need urgent help, resources and care. Working alongside the National Emergencies Trust, we hope that the #FootballUnited campaign will generate vital funds to reach those local communities and charities at the time when they need it most.”