Gary Neville emulates Chelsea in making hotels available for NHS staff fighting coronavirus

Through their GG Hospitality group, Neville and Giggs co-own Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange in Manchester

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, pictured during their playing days in 2008, co-own the GG Hospitality Group. Reuters

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has made the two hotels he owns with ex-teammate Ryan Giggs available to National Health Service (NHS) staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic, while assuring hotel workers there will be no redundancies and all employees will remain on full pay.

Through their GG Hospitality group, Neville and Giggs co-own Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange in Manchester.

"The most important thing and our priority is the health of our staff and our guests," Neville said in a video posted to Twitter where he confirmed that the hotel would be closed to guests over the next two months.

"The second most important thing is our staff and our team members and that they retain their income over the next few months. We will not be making anyone redundant or asking anybody to take unpaid leave. We are working on a package now to ensure they retain their income: they are the most important people and the lifeblood of our business.

"Thirdly, over the past week we have been in consultation with the health services in the Greater Manchester area and our 176 beds will be occupied by NHS workers and medical professionals from Friday.

"The whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times but obviously for the people who need accommodation most in the coming months.

"Health workers will be able to stay there without any cost whatsoever in the next few months when they need isolation away from family members who may be affected by what's going on."

Neville's announcement follows a similar gesture from Premier League club Chelsea, who on Wednesday stated that the Millennium Hotel at their Stamford Bridge stadium in London would be made available to NHS staff for the next two months and possibly longer. The club also said all costs would be covered by owner Roman Abramovich.

The Premier League has been suspended until at least April 4 due to the virus, with global cases rising to 218,000 on Thursday and more than 8,800 dead. More than 84,000 people have recovered from the virus.