Premier League clubs have been surprisingly reluctant to take up Brighton’s scheme to pledge 100,000 free football tickets to NHS workers as a show of gratitude for helping to fight the coronavirus.
The Seagulls kicked off the initiative by promising 1,000 tickets to NHS staff, and this was immediately supported by Bournemouth, who pledged the same figure.
Brighton called upon other Premier League, EFL, Scottish and Northern Irish clubs to do the same by passing the baton to one another, but it has been met with a muted response.
According to a report in the Telegraph, there is a feeling among some clubs that Brighton should not have acted on their own when announcing the plan. The Premier League are not against the idea, and according to the report, they regard it as a ‘great local initiative’.
Many clubs have offered support in their local communities during the coronavirus outbreak, by donating to food banks, offering food to homeless charities and providing their facilities for NHS workers.
However, clubs are not yet able to deal with what will happen when football returns.
Despite this, it remains a surprise that Bournemouth are the only club to have matched Brighton’s ticket pledge, given that it is only 1,000 tickets to be spread over a number of weeks.
Speaking about the scheme, Brighton chief executive
“If each of the 92 clubs committed on average 1,000 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.
“We are seeing some brilliant initiatives from clubs all over the world, and I am hopeful that there is more to come from the football family.”
Outside of the campaign, Ipswich Town have already said that they will provide tickets for NHS staff, while Chelsea have offered their hotel to NHS staff.