Manchester United have paid tribute to the National Health Service (NHS) by lighting up Old Trafford in blue as a show of thanks to care staff across the country.
The front of United’s iconic Old Trafford stadium was lit up in blue light and the usual red Manchester United lights spelt out NHS United on Wednesday evening – a move to show appreciation to NHS staff in the fight against coronavirus.
And the club confirmed they would be doing the same again on Thursday to coincide with the weekly Clap for Carers – a UK-wide initiative to show thanks to NHS staff for all their hard work in troubling circumstances.
The gesture is the latest in a long line of initiatives that the Red Devils have set-up during the Covid-19 crisis.
Sources have told Goal that the club were well prepared having had daily coronavirus meetings from January to work on potential strategies to deal with the pandemic.
The country did not go into lockdown until March 23 but the club were ready to act, with the whole leadership team, including owner Joel Glazer, having been involved in the decisions which have seen a commitment to pay the salaries of all full-time staff whilst also taking care of casual matchday and non-matchday workers.
While players at some clubs have agreed to take wage deferrals during these difficult economic times it is understood that is not yet being considered at United, although there continues to be constant analysis over different scenarios.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has impressed many with his decision making during the pandemic and sources have told Goal he has been the ‘driving force’ behind the decisions which have been made in the past few weeks.
In addition to ensuring staff are covered during the pandemic, the club has helped out with the local community and charities with donations of food, equipment and resources.
Fans have also been considered, with the season ticket renewal date postponed and supporters travelling to Linz having all been given a £350 goodwill payment after the game had to be played behind closed doors.
The players have also been doing their bit to help both individually and collectively through the #PlayersTogether initiative which was created to help generate funds for the NHS.