Footballer flak wide of the mark for City keeper Krul

Tim Krul believes Norwich City's squad, and footballers in general, appreciate the imapct of coronav

Tim Krul believes Norwich City's squad, and footballers in general, appreciate the imapct of coronavirus on society as a whole Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tim Krul insists footballers should not be in the firing line during the coronavirus crisis, as Norwich City’s squad try to make a difference.

Premier League stars have come in for criticism from government figures and the wider public in recent weeks over the on-going issue of wage deferrals and potential cuts.

City’s dressing room pledged to donate more than £190,000 of their salaries to help individuals and charities in Norfolk affected by the global pandemic, and later joined forces with fellow top-flight players to launch a fund distributing millions directly to the NHS.

“England has many billionaires who live in Monaco and don’t pay taxes. Are they criticised? Look in the mirror and ask what you have done?,” said Krul. “It’s so easy to group everyone together. With us there are players who support their entire family financially.

“We are told (by the club) where our money has gone. Food packages, healthcare equipment, the local churches, homeless people are temporarily housed in hotels.

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“We now see clearly how reality is. My wife’s friend is a doctor. We had a conversation with her via Skype. She talked about the shortages of masks and other means in healthcare.

“This crisis has taken us all by surprise, but it is incredible that these shortages are so great. We have people risking their lives for the health of us all.”

Krul, speaking to Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant, revealed staff at the football club have helped produce 150 medical masks a day using a 3D printer.

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The Norwich number one has also kept in close touch with the elderly neighbour he discovered during a series of player phone calls to the most vulnerable in the early days of the lockdown, which ended with the keeper doing a food shop for some essentials.

“We’ve been watching her a bit since then. We do it together, also with the help of my mother-in-law who lives with us,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t realise how bad people are. They have nothing, they are afraid to go outside and hardly ever chat. Loneliness is really a serious problem.

“Another man on the phone said the Spurs (cup tie) was the first game in a long time that he had not seen, after 450 games in a row. He has cancer.

“It was really nice to have him on the phone, to be able to share that joy.”

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