The coronavirus may have brought elite football to a halt but, with the fate of the Premier League still in the balance, fans in Liverpool have more important matters on their mind.
Liverpool Football Club and their fans still don’t know if they will get a chance to complete their fixtures and, almost definitely, secure a first league title in 30 years after football bosses discussed how to proceed at an emergency meeting today. Following the meeting, it was decided to extend the postponement of all professional football from April 3 to April 30.
But despite the historic sporting achievement on offer, Big Issue Changemaker Fans Supporting Foodbanks (FSF), a partnership of Liverpool and Everton fans supporting the most vulnerable on Merseyside, are focused on asking clubs to focus on supporting fans. They penned an open letter to clubs pleading with them to lift the burden on supporters hit by COVID-19.
With four Anfield home fixtures called off before the end of the season, the matchday collections at the core of their operation are on hold, so FSF set up a fundraiser at the weekend, raising almost £60,000 so far. That has been topped up with a £40,000 donation from the LFC Foundation, Liverpool FC’s charitable arm, and FSF want other clubs to follow suit.
FSF have asked clubs to “follow the example of Liverpool and provide immediate, direct emergency funding for food-banks in their region. To follow the example of Brighton and commit to paying all match day and other casual staff through all cancelled fixtures.
“The long-term ramifications of Covid-19 on football are still unknown, but the effects of the virus on wider society are beginning to unfold with foodbanks already bearing the brunt of what promises to be massive disruption to our communities.