Liverpool dressing room agrees on ‘bigger picture’ for new challenge


The most difficult of years has been unique for Liverpool Football Club.
Winning a first league title in 30 years in the midst of a global pandemic will ensure that.

But as the results flourished in an unforgettable calendar year for Jurgen Klopp and his players, the club themselves have been forced to face the challenges of the new age.

The suspension from football in mid-March, coupled with the ongoing needs of the community they serve, made working life more difficult than ever for those with the liver bird on their chest.

The lack of regular game days has had wider ramifications than many perhaps initially feared.

While some wondered how their weekends would be filled without the entertainment of the Premier League leaders, the lack of action put local food banks in serious jeopardy.

The postponement of top-level matches was expected to have a huge impact on the North Liverpool Foodbank, which receives around 25% of its donations from collections on match day.

Quickly, it was decided that the LFC Foundation, Red Neighbors and the players themselves would come together to support Fans Supporting Foodbanks by donating £ 40,000 in the absence of Premier League football.

The idea was to donate £ 10,000 for every home game remaining that season before £ 147,000 was donated to help tackle food poverty in the region earlier this month.

“What we really tried to do was think about what we as Red Neighbors and the LFC Foundation could do together, and we quickly identified three areas we wanted to focus on,” he said. Red Neighbors Senior Director Forbes Duff told ECHO this month.

“They were the food, the social isolation and the support of the NHS and key workers, so they were the priority.

“That’s what we focused on, so we quickly formed a working group, focused on these areas between March and September and tried to really do business where we could to support those areas.

“It was quick, the football stopped in Game 15 and then we immediately pledged the North Liverpool Foodbanks £ 40,000 because we knew without football they would be missing.

“What we wanted to do was move quickly so the LFC Foundation donated £ 20,000 and the players matched it and it went straight to the St Andrews community network. ”

The most recent offer came as a result of donations from ticket refunds from the canceled Legends match with Barcelona, ​​sales of club-specific Levi’s clothing and donations from executive lounge and boardroom members.

Around £ 80,000 will be used to fund five new community pantries across the city, while an additional £ 20,000 will support the purchase of a new delivery van to service the 22 food bank network locations.

“Recently we announced £ 140,000 to community pantries which is fantastic,” adds Forbes.

“The St Andrew’s Community Network wants to push people to the pantry rather than emergency food packages.

“So the generosity of the fans and the people who came together after realizing there was a need really helped us to donate all the money directly to support the pantries and the food as well as the poverty in the community. region.

“As a club we have a big responsibility to help people and that’s what we’ve been trying to do over the past four or five seasons. We will continue to do so as well. ”

But generosity and support isn’t limited to those who work for the club’s charities.

The members of Klopp’s play team have more than played their part in a turbulent and troubling year for those in the region.

In an effort to maintain morale in an overworked health service, Liverpool sent 200 baskets of chocolate to 14 different hospitals in April.

They were accompanied by messages of support from Captain Jordan Henderson, local star Trent Alexander-Arnold and left-back Andy Robertson, who started his own charity, the AR26 Foundation earlier this month.

Robertson joined Thiago Alcantara and James Milner in launching his foundation, while other top members of the Liverpool squad have also helped various causes throughout 2020.

Milner’s has raised more than £ 1million since its inception in 2011, while the Alcantara de Thiago Foundation, which is mainly run by his wife Julia, largely seeks to help asylum seekers find housing.

“I think it’s a bit encouraging both for the club and the players who want to do it,” Milner told ECHO last year.

“We have a locker room full of good guys who are thinking about the big picture.

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“We all know how important football is to people, but it’s important to people who go through tough times sometimes, and we can help them with that.

“We all try to help where we can and the club are fantastic at supporting initiatives and thinking about ways to help. ”

Robertson agrees the club’s drive to give its players the freedom to dive headfirst into charity is all the encouragement they need inside the Anfield dressing room.

“It starts with the club,” Robertson told ECHO earlier this month. “The club are very inclined to that to be fair.

“Liverpool and Everton do a lot of things in the community and when you’re a part of it and signing up with one of these clubs it’s your job to join and that’s why a lot of guys have worked for the food banks, of both teams, in Liverpool.

“Because as we know the percentage of people using them in Liverpool is very high and Milly has her own foundation, Thiago and people like that, so for me I wanted to start something. ”

Explaining the decision to officially launch the AR26 Foundation, Robertson says, “I’ve always thought about it for the past few years and now is a good time to do it.

“I think we can also help a lot of children and their families. I’m really passionate about this topic and hope it’s for a very, very long time and we can be successful with it because I believe we can make a big difference with the visions we have and the projects we have. .

“So if we can just equalize that gap, even slightly, we can walk away from it, when we do, happy with it. Because, like I said, I believe the gap is widening and these underprivileged children are being left behind and I don’t. I don’t think this is fair.

“Children are brought into life as equals and of course we are brought in different circumstances and environments, but they should have a good chance in life and if they want it then we hope to provide it to them and c it’s up to them to do it. take opportunities to be part of the community and things like that.

“So that they can make their own living. In my life everything I have done, I have always tried to do 100% and forget about my football, I am not here as Andy the footballer, but someone who creates his own association and I will give it 100%. ”


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