Chelsea Chennai, supporters group of English Premier League giant Chelsea, and Pena Madridista de Madras, official fans club of La Liga heavyweight Real Madrid, have made a monetary donation of Rs 85,376 and Rs 13,000 respectively to the ‘Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund’ in the last few days.
Asked what prompted the group to come up with this initiative, Chelsea Chennai founder Subash Viswanath said: “We have a few frontline workers in our group. We have four to five doctors, with two of them on COVID duty. They shared details about how the situation is right now. Members in our group had supported people in need personally. So, we decided to get them together and contribute.”
On his part, Pena Madridista de Madras president Varadha Rajan said: “Four to five members and their families were affected by COVID-19 in the past two weeks. They shared their stories with us. As it is a little difficult to help everyone individually, we decided to make a collective effort. Members donated whatever amount they could.”
While Chelsea Chennai came into existence in 2013, Pena Madridista de Madras is less than a year old. One common theme between the two groups is that many of its members are supporters of Indian Super League (ISL) club Chennaiyin FC (CFC), which has collaborated with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am also a part of CFC fans club B Stand Blues. In that group, we have members who support different English clubs. I am in touch with them. I think that a lot more supporters clubs will come forward to help in the next few days,” revealed Varadha Rajan.
Chelsea Chennai’s Subash said that the initial plan was to collect money only from close circles, but added that he was pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming response. “Every year, we collect funds for Chelsea match screenings and events. Initially, we thought of using that money for the donation. But, we shared the message to people we know. As many as 100 members contributed.” About 25 members from Pena Madridista de Madras joined hands for the noble initiative.