CHRIS Kamara has lent his support to Premier League players who have launched a fundraising campaign to raise funds for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The country's top players, including Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Manchester United's Harry Maguire, have clubbed together for the Players Together campaign, announced last night.

Top-flight stars came under fire after some clubs placed non-playing staff on the Government's furlough scheme, with health secretary Matt Hancock last week calling for Premier League players to take a pay cut.

Premier League clubs proposed wage deductions or deferrals of around 30 per cent to mitigate the financial impact of the crisis but talks over the weekend with the Professional Footballers' Association did not reach a resolution.

Now former Bradford City manager Kamara has backed the soccer stars, saying there should not have been a "witch hunt" of players not contributing in the first place.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Kamara said: "The Players Together scheme has been magnificent but the players should have been left alone in the first place.

"They would have come up with something. They are absolutely the same as us. They are just normal people.

"They have been thinking about what to do to make a contribution and they know where their money would be going.

"Jordan Henderson has been behind it. Their money goes straight to the frontline and where they want it to go.

"A lot of players will have made other contributions already. They go under the radar. They just want it to be made voluntarily.

"They have got together and made sure the money goes to the correct place.

"The thing we don't need is a witch hunt. It's personal choice, It's up to you if you want to contribute. They have to do it voluntarily."

But the likes of Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford tweeted a statement about an initiative called, perhaps a little pointedly, #PlayersTogether, which has partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT).

A statement from the group said: "Over the course of the last week we, as a group of Premier League players, have held numerous talks together with the vision of creating a contribution fund that can be used to distribute money to where it's needed most in this COVID-19 crisis; helping those fighting for us on the NHS frontline as well as other key areas of need.

"This is a critical time for our country and for our NHS, and we are determined to help in any way that we can.

"We can confirm that after extensive conversations between a huge number of players from all Premier League clubs we have created our own collective player initiative, #PlayersTogether, and have partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) in order to assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most."

Hancock's criticism during last Thursday's daily briefing heightened the issue about players taking salary reductions but he praised the players' announcement on Wednesday night.

"Warmly welcome this big-hearted decision from so many Premier League footballers to create #PlayersTogether to support NHS Charities. You are playing your part," Hancock wrote on Twitter.

Former England players Gary Lineker and Gary Neville took to the social networking website to congratulate the players for an initiative the statement said was "separate to any other club and league conversations".

Kamara also criticised any Premier League football clubs who had placed their non-playing staff on the furlough scheme. Liverpool originally placed their staff on furlough but have since reversed this decision.

He added: "I don't think any of the Premier League clubs should to this at all.

"We do know that football will be back, but whatever they have to pay out at the moment just do it.

"A lot of smaller clubs might go under.

"As far as the Premier League goes, I don't think they should be furloughing any of their staff at all."