Manchester United take coronavirus donations past £1 million

Old Trafford club add another £240,000 for fund for supporters' clubs

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Manchester United’s Foundation has put aside £240,000 (just over Dh1 million) to work with their 240 official supporters’ clubs around the world to help tackle the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on young people.

There are international supporters’ clubs from UAE to Zanzibar, Iraq to Bahrain.

Every United Supporters’ Club across the UK and overseas will be eligible for a share of the money. This will take United’s total commitment to Covid-19-related activities to more than £1 million.

Each club will be offered up to £1,000 to help youth-focused charities in their area respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

The initiative aims to use the power of United’s global fan base to build on the Foundation’s existing work with schools and charities across Greater Manchester.

John Shiels, chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, said: “This is a unique opportunity to harness the collective power of United fans across the UK and overseas to make a positive impact on young people’s lives at this time of great strain on societies and economies around the world.

“We are as committed as ever to our mission to support young people across Greater Manchester, and we will continue to expand our local activities in response to the elevated need we anticipate as a result of the pandemic.

"But this is a global crisis requiring a global response, and United’s international appeal gives us the opportunity to play our part on that basis.”

An initial £500 donation to the nominated charity of each Supporters’ Club will be topped up with a further sum of up to £500 to match local fundraising efforts, with the aim of significantly expanding the total amount donated to charities above the £240,000 pledged by the Foundation.

Clubs have been invited to nominate an established children’s charity in their region to receive the money and the Foundation will provide support for each club to carry out its own additional fundraising locally.

Internationally, supporters’ clubs will be encouraged to work with Unicef, Manchester United’s long-standing charitable partner, which is at the forefront of the global response to the pandemic.

There are 130 Manchester United Supporters’ Clubs in the UK and Ireland, with the remainder spread across 80 countries, including 13 in India.

Lindsay Roe, secretary of the Nottingham Manchester United Supporters’ Club, said: “This is a fantastic gesture by the Foundation during these difficult times. We are delighted to be part of the initiative, which will benefit many children’s charities around the world through the Supporters’ Club network.”

Joseph Tedesco, president of the Malta Supporters’ Club, said: “Our international support is one of the things that make Manchester United special. This fantastic support from the Foundation will help children in need all around the world during these unprecedented times.”

The £1m of funding for these projects came from last year's Treble Reunion match at Old Trafford to mark the 20th anniversary of the Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.