Manchester City have offered use of their Etihad Stadium to the NHS during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
With Premier League football postponed until the end of April at the earliest, the Etihad is currently empty and the club will make executive boxes and conference rooms available to the health service, who will use the space to train doctors and nurses during the crisis. The stadium, however, is not thought to be earmarked to treat patients, with a temporary hospital set to be set up at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.
Both Manchester clubs, City and rivals United have already pledged to help their local community through the crisis. The reprisal of the pair’s A City United campaign saw a £100,000 to local food banks struggling because of the crisis.
Meanwhile, City players Raheem Sterling and Steph Houghton have taken part in the NHS’s #StayHomeSaveLives campaign, which encourages the public to remain at home during the crisis to slow the spread of the disease.
Houghton said: “Whilst so many of us love watching and playing football and sport in general, it’s not important at the moment, everybody is adapting to new situations and although it’s different and difficult, we are seeing the best in people, communities supporting one another by dropping off shopping, picking up prescriptions and people reaching out through apps to talk and support each other.
"Thursday’s show of support for the NHS shows how much we appreciate them and how we are all coming together to get through this as quickly and as safely as we can, football will return and we will appreciate it a little more for the joy it brings but for now Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.”