Sebastien Haller says West Ham United’s first-team players were happy to help by deferring a percentage of their wages during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The move, led by captain Mark Noble, was announced on 10 April as one of a number of measures to ensure the Club can continue to support its staff, fans and local community through a uniquely challenging time.
And the Hammers’ French centre forward endorsed the decision, and also pointed out that a number of players, including Pablo Fornals, Tomas Soucek and Pablo Zabaleta, are also assisting frontline healthcare provision in their own countries to fight coronavirus.
“It was important for us to help, because at West Ham we know and feel that the people who work here are very happy to be here and work with us,” said Haller, who is also part of the #PlayersTogether initiative, which is donating millions of pounds to NHS Charities Together.
“We want to make sure that everyone can lead a normal life.
“Of course, it was a pleasure to help them. But it doesn't just affect the Club. Other players also have the opportunity to help in their countries. Everyone tries to do something in their own way.”
We want to make sure that everyone can lead a normal life
Premier League football is currently postponed and ‘will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so’.
When an announcement is made, clubs will need a period of training to get players match-fit before games restart and, when they do, Haller is wondering if they will be played behind closed doors.
“To be honest: It's a completely new situation, everyone knows that,” the No22 observed. “Due to the time pressure, it is difficult to end the current season and start the new season in the normal way. The most important thing is everyone's health.
“There's also the option to play without fans – but that's not why we chose to play for this club. Ideally you want to play with the fans, with the atmosphere and everything around it.”