Charities offered assistance of Premiership footballers

Charities and community groups are being invited to bid for the assistance of top Premiership stars in promoting awareness of their projects and raising funds during September.

Sixty footballers, from all 20 Premiership teams, are available to make personal appearances for charities as part of the Premier League's "Places for Players" scheme.

The announcement follows criticism of football clubs over their levels of charitable giving. An audit by donor information website Intelligent Giving showed that nearly all clubs in the Premier League gave less than 0.1 per cent of their turnover to charity. An initiative to encourage Premiership footballers to donate a day's pay to help struggling nurses also fell flat with just 12 per cent of players taking part.

The Places for Players scheme is part of a wider good causes programme set up by the Premier League called "Creating Chances". More charitable initiatives will be announced during the summer.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "Creating Chances highlights the Premier League and our clubs' continued and increasing commitment to local communities. The ‘Places for Players' initiative is an excellent and visible way to give hundreds of charitable organisations the opportunity to highlight their fantastic work."

Players will be available for up to four hours and will appear in areas local to their clubs between 15 September and 6 October. Successful applicants will also receive a £2,000 donation from the Premier League, as will 400 runners-up.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Premiers Leaguewebsite. Hard copies can be obtained by calling 0207 908 6592. The closing date is 22 June.

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