Brighton and Hove Albion have ring-fenced a minimum of one thousand tickets for future matches to be donated to front line NHS heroes fighting coronavirus.
Yesterday (Tuesday, 24) the club board unanimously agreed, and have now invited other Premier League, EFL, Scottish and Northern Irish senior clubs to consider following suit.
Other clubs are urged to do something similar, either for one specific match, or spread across a number of fixtures when football resumes and NHS staff are able to attend games.
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber suggested a ‘club-to-club baton approach’, where they nominate the next club, and so on.
Barber nominated fellow south-coast Premier League club AFC Bournemouth as the next in line.
Cherries’ chairman Jeff Mostyn is keen to rise to the challenge.
“We are working on a range of things across all areas of the community and I hope this will just be the start.
“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 those NHS staff on the front line who are fighting the battle on behalf of all of us and give them something to look forward to.
“Of course the biggest support we can all show our NHS heroes is by following the crucial government advice on social distancing, self-isolating, hand hygiene and using tissues to catch, kill and bin coughs and sneezes.”
Cherries’ chairman Mostyn said they’re delighted to match the gesture and commit to one thousand tickets:
“We will pass the baton to another club with the aim of reaching a significant target so football as a whole can show its appreciation for our country’s NHS workers.”
Barber said as they move forwards they want to look at other ways to acknowledge the ‘brave and unselfish’ work being done by NHS workers:
“If each of the 92 clubs committed on average one thousand tickets, with the FA donating for a future England international and Scottish Premier League and Irish League clubs also contributing, we could easily top 100,000 tickets for these heroes.
“Of course we also have clubs further down the pyramid who may want to play their part.
“We are seeing some brilliant initiatives from clubs all around the world and I am hopeful that there is more to come from the football family, but this would be fantastic way to honour those heroes on the front line.”
The club’s catering partner has also donated a quantity of non-perishable food and drink to NHS workers in Sussex.
Meanwhile, Albion and Bournemouth are also calling on all football fans to join the nation at 8pm on Thursday in a show of appreciation for NHS staff around the country.
“We will be asking all players, staff and fans to join the rest of the UK in huge show of support for the NHS and its staff.
“It’s a small gesture during which we hope everyone will take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice our NHS heroes are making on an hourly basis.
“On behalf of everyone connected with our club I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their brilliant work.”
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