‘NHS needs more economic support from taxes’ – Hodgson says thanks for healthcare staff ‘will never be enough’

The Crystal Palace manager praised those making charitable contributions but says the NHS shouldn’t rely on the generosity of individuals

Roy Hodgson has called on the UK government to provide more funding for the National Health Service, after Premier League footballers stepped in with the #PlayersTogether initiative to help support the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

Hodgson says the pandemic has underlined the importance of healthcare staff, and believes thanks alone “will never be enough”.

In 2017, Conservative MPs including current Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak successfully voted against scrapping the one per cent pay-rise cap on public sector staff including NHS nurses.

“I’ve always been a huge supporter of the NHS; they do and have always done a fantastic job,” Hodgson told Palace’s official website.

“We’re so lucky in this country to have a system like it, I’ve always felt that we do have a fantastic service and now it’s being demonstrated to everyone so clearly, that the resources we put in are well spent.

“I hope it might in future make us more aware that if you want this level of service, it needs a certain level of economic support – and I’m hopeful it will come from our taxes.

“We can’t rely on the NHS being funded by charities or people making donations – it’s nice that such individuals and organisations are doing so, and I’m full of praise for those who are doing it – but the work they’re doing is quite incredible and needs adequate resourcing.

“The praise they’re getting however enormous it is, will never be enough.”

Hodgson also said he is determined to finish the English league season, though he admits any solution to do so is unlikely to be perfect.

“Everyone is in total agreement we need an end to this season,” he added.

“We don’t want artificial means of deciding who wins the league, who gets into the Champions League, who gets relegated and promoted.

“Ideally our players would have three or four weeks’ minimum to prepare for the first match back, but I accept there may have to be a squeeze on that timeframe.

“It might mean extra restrictions at our place of work – the training ground – for example.

“It may also mean that we have to play our nine remaining matches in a shorter period of time than we normally would have done, and subsequently receive a shorter break between the seasons.

“But I think with all of these sacrifices – and I am uncomfortable using that word in such a context – everyone will be more than happy to go along with what it takes in order to get playing again as soon as possible in order to get the season finished.”