Roman Abramovich to cover cost of opening Chelsea stadium hotel for hospital staff battling COVID19
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has pledged to cover the cost of using the hotel at the club's Stamford Bridge to house National Health Service (NHS) workers currently battling against the coronavirus outbreak in London.
The Premier League season has been postponed until at least April 3, 'The Blues' have turned their attention to battling against the COVID19 outbreak.
Russian Abramovich has pledged to spare hotel beds at the club's Millennium Hotel for NHS staff workers, covering the cost of their stay as they work during the global pandemic.
Chelsea Football Club is joining the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak in London with the news the National Health Service (NHS) has accepted the Club’s offer to make the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff... https://t.co/eENBcxRXXX— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 18, 2020
In an official statement the club announced: "Chelsea Football Club is joining the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak in London with the news the National Health Service (NHS) has accepted the Club’s offer to make the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff.
"The initiative came from club owner Roman Abramovich and, after contact with the NHS was made by Chairman Bruce Buck, it was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.
London has been warned it will face the biggest peak of coronavirus cases in the UK, and the club said the decision was made to provide staff respite while working long shifts and give a practical solution to commuting to and from hospitals for staff dealing with patients suffering from the virus.
"Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes. Local accommodation helps maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time," the statement continued.
"This will be for a two-month period, and then reconsidered in light of circumstances at the time. NHS staff will be those working in hospitals in the North-West London region, but that may extend to hospitals in other districts.
"The number of rooms utilised will depend on demand but potentially all the rooms in the Millennium Hotel could be given over for this purpose. No staff showing symptoms will use the hotel."
The Premier League postponed all games on Thursday, with Chelsea currently occupying the fourth and last Champions League spot in the table.
UEFA yesterday announced that all major European leagues will be completed before June 30 if possible, but confirmed the Euro 2020 tournament will be played in 2021.