Community Shield proceeds to be donated to Grenfell Tower fire victims

The Football Association (FA) will donate the proceeds from this summer's Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The FA says it is hoped that the match will raise around £1.25 million for the victims of the tragedy and their families. The number of people to have died as a result of the fire, including those classed as missing presumed dead, remains at 79.

The families of the victims, survivors and emergency service personnel will also be invited to the game on Sunday, Aug. 6.

FA chairman Greg Clarke said: "Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable.

"Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help. Two great London clubs will come together to play at the city's most famous stadium just a few miles from Kensington. They will be united in their passion for football, grief at this tragic loss and support for their community.

"Football is for all, and we hope that on Aug. 6 it can in its own way give something back to those who are most in need."

The FA Cup-winning Gunners and Chelsea, the Premier League champions, have also donated their club match fee to the Grenfell Tower support fund.

Any fans who will be attending the Community Shield at Wembley will have the opportunity to donate an additional £5 to the fund, should they wish, when purchasing a ticket via the clubs.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "We believe it is appropriate and timely that the first major football match involving top-flight clubs to take place in our city since the tragedy will be dedicated in such a way to the victims and survivors, and to the enormous number of heroes of the rescue operation, especially given this occasion's long history of being played for the benefit of the wider community and people in need of support.''

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "The club stands side by side with Chelsea in reaching out to the community and expressing our support and solidarity for those who have lost friends and family, their homes and their sense of security in the wake of this tragic event.

"We also pay tribute to our city's emergency services who showed immense courage and bravery. We play the FA Community Shield on Sunday, August 6, with the victims and the heroes of this terrible tragedy close to our hearts.''

The English Football League (EFL) will top up that sum to make a £175,000 total donation to the fund.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "In donating funds from the 2017 FA Community Shield, the football family is coming together to make a significant commitment to the cause. Such compassion and commitment is testament to the good will within football and the values it maintains in supporting communities in their times of need.'

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand, a former England striker, added: "Everyone at QPR was shocked and saddened to see the tragic events unfold at Grenfell Tower, a mile away from Loftus Road, and for me it was personal, as the tower is right next to the estate where I grew up.

"Over the next few months and years we stand ready to help those people affected as they recover from the loss of their homes and their loved ones. This is what it means for us to be a community club, and we will do whatever we can to help."