Barcelona stars help out club employees as sport’s goodwill gestures continue

Sports stars and clubs across the world continue to rally behind their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the best goodwill gestures from March 30.


Barcelona’s players have accepted a 70 per cent pay cut and pledged donations to help the club’s non-sport staff continue to receive their full wages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lionel Messi revealed the move in an Instagram post, insisting Barcelona’s players were always open to pay cuts, but had to take time to iron out the details.

“The time has come to announce that, apart from the reduction of 70 per cent of our salary during the state of alarm, we are going to make contributions as well so that club employees can collect 100 per cent of their salary for the duration of this situation,” Messi revealed on Instagram.

“If we did not speak until now, it was because the priority for us was to find solutions that were real to help the club.

“It does not surprise us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure about something that we always knew we would do.”

The Football Association launched Football’s Staying Home on Monday, a campaign to produce content to promote physical and mental well-being and offer hope, entertainment and togetherness.

The FA will also be broadcasting classic Emirates FA Cup and Barclays FA Women’s Super League matches across their social channels and The FA Player every Sunday.

Tottenham have allowed their stadium to be used to support vulnerable individuals affected by the pandemic.

Spurs have held discussions with Haringey Council, the Greater London Authority and the NHS about making use of their 62,000-seater stadium.

Sky Bet League Two side Mansfield have sent cases of cold drinks to respiratory nurses at King’s Mill Hospital, following a recent appeal.

Motor Sport

A breathing aid that can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care has been developed by mechanical engineers, medics and the Mercedes Formula One team.

The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help coronavirus patients and bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation, which requires sedation and an invasive procedure.

A team from University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospital (UCLH) have worked with Mercedes Formula One to adapt and improve existing CPAP in a process known as reverse engineering.

The adapted device was developed in under 100 hours from an initial meeting to production of the first CPAP and 100 devices are undergoing clinical trials before potentially being rolled out to hospitals around the UK.


Andrew Gale
Andrew Gale

Yorkshire first-team coach Andrew Gale and his wife Kate have volunteered as National Health Service Responders.

“Myself and my wife have volunteered,” said Gale. “I’m at a bit of a loose end at the moment, so if I can help out in any way, I will.

“Until we start training again, all I can do is planning stuff, so I have some free time. It could also be that my wife goes to help and I’ll stay with the kids. We’ll see what happens.”


Augusta National Golf Club is stepping in to assist the Augusta area during the coronavirus pandemic.

— (@AUG_Masters) March 30, 2020

Augusta National Golf Club is donating USD 2million to assist the Augusta area following the postponement of the Masters.

Half of the money will go to Augusta University to expand testing in the area and half will be given to the Covid-19 CSRA Emergency Fund.

“It is our hope these gifts will help address the many challenges brought about by the coronavirus throughout the City of Augusta and the greater region,” Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said.

“We believe Augusta National has an important responsibility to support and protect the community who has so generously and consistently supported us for many years.”