It’s been a weird week. Ok, it’s been a weird month, but this week in particular has seemed to be really weird. In both the US and UK, government agencies have been slow to react to the coronavirus, leaving the healthcare systems overburdened and under resourced. Companies are laying off or furloughing staff left and right. Many Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, have taken part in furloughing workers, taking advantage of a government plan that will pay 80% of a furloughed workers wages.
Earlier in the week, the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, took it upon himself to single out Premier League players, saying they should take a pay cut to help fund the wages of other club employees. Hancock was rightly lambasted for his comment to single out the players rather than the billionaire owners. As the players (rightly) also reacted with frustration to the comments, one thing to come to light was that Liverpool’s captain, Jordan Henderson, has been quietly and diligently been working behind the scenes to create a fund for the National Healthy System (NHS).
“Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting,” said Newcastle’s Danny Rose. “All that’s happened is a discussion. I just got off the phone to Jordan Henderson about 20 minutes ago and he is working so hard trying to come up with something.”
Former Liverpool player and current Wolves captain, Connor Coady, has also been involved. He spoke about Henderson leading the charge.
”It is a great idea from Jordan [Henderson], to do what he is trying to do, to bring all the clubs together,” espoused Coady of the fund Henderson is trying to organize.
“It can do something fantastic for obviously the people on the front line and the people who are working so, so hard for us. It is a brilliant idea. I think, in terms of us as a club and players, we have been looking to do something for a bit of a while now.”
According to Coady, Henderson has been working on the fund for some time now.
“The idea has actually been going for a good couple of weeks now in terms of trying to get something sorted, and I think people are now realizing that it’s tough to speak to 20 clubs.”
According to The Guardian, Henderson and others have already approached banks to set up the fund to accept money from the players and distribute it to the NHS. The idea is that the NHS and medical professionals would advise how best to spend the money donated by the players.
When all of this is over, there will be a lot of finger pointing, and hopefully some lessons learned. One thing will be certain, however. Jordan Henderson will be seen as a true embodiment of Liverpool, and all we could hope for in a captain.