Chelsea will provide 78,000 free meals to Britain’s National Health Service and charities that support the elderly and vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis, the Premier League club said Thursday. The Blues’ donation will help NHS staff working long hours across five hospitals. “We are and have always been committed to supporting our communities, especially the vulnerable, and at this time we recognise this is more important than ever,” Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said. “Our owner, Roman Abramovich, has been instrumental in challenging us to find ways to support those in need.”
Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, normally a sea of red, will be lit up in blue to show support for the NHS during the pandemic.
Old Trafford was due to turn the colour of Manchester United’s local rivals Manchester City to coincide with the weekly public “clap for carers” tribute on Thursday at 1900 GMT.
“While Old Trafford is not normally bathed in blue, it’s been organised to recognise the extraordinary efforts of the frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” United said in a statement.
Earlier, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes the Blues can be proud of their response to the coronavirus crisis.
The London club quickly offered the use of a hotel at their Stamford Bridge stadium to health workers once Premier League matches were suspended last month and have promised to match all donations made to domestic abuse charity Refuge during a six-week fundraising campaign.
Unlike a number of other Premier League clubs who have attracted criticism for using the UK government’s furlough scheme to pay non-playing staff, Chelsea have so far decided against using public money.
“I’m very proud to be the manager of this club with the way Chelsea have handled it,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“They were very quick to respond with the help of the hotel and there’s a lot more work going on with the foundation, with link-ups and with getting in touch with fans.
“There are a lot of people at Chelsea who have really stood up.”