Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham will come together to support better mental health by taking part in The Mind Series this summer.
The Blues will take on our two London rivals in a first-of-its-kind series of pre-season friendlies in August, as a curtain raiser to the 2021/22 season.
Funds raised from the series will be split between Mind and the respective club Foundations, that each deliver projects to support mental health and wellbeing in communities both at home and overseas. Mind – the UK’s leading mental health charity – and the clubs, using their huge global reach and platforms, will promote mental health awareness as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Demand for Mind’s services, including its Infoline, has increased exponentially during the pandemic, with latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics showing one in five adults experiencing symptoms of depression, compared to one in 10 prior to the pandemic.
Mind’s own survey of 16,000 people during the initial lockdown also found that two in three young people (68 per cent) and three in five adults (60 per cent) said their mental health had got worse.
The schedule of friendly matches played will be as follows:
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Sunday 1 August - Emirates Stadium - 3pm kick-off
Chelsea vs Tottenham - Wednesday 4 August - Stamford Bridge - 7.45pm
Tottenham vs Arsenal - Sunday 8 August - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - 2pm kick-off
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is looking forward to the action and said: 'I am pleased that my first pre-season with Chelsea contains such high-level fixtures against such top-quality opponents. Hopefully there can be plenty of fans in the stadiums.
'Derby matches against Arsenal and Tottenham cannot fail to have a competitive edge, which is what the team needs as we prepare for the season, and knowing the games will benefit charities as important as Mind and our own Foundation adds much value to the series. It is super important that looking after mental health is highlighted at this time in history.'
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: 'We’re delighted that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have come together to back Mind’s work through the Mind Series. We know from our work in the sector, including our charity partnership with the EFL, that football has the power to create real change, not least around mental health. The platform that these three huge clubs can provide us with will allow us to get our message out to thousands more people that they have somewhere to turn when they need support.
'The Mind Series is not only a brilliant way to raise awareness about mental health, it will also provide vital funding for our services at a time when more people than ever need Mind’s help. Our message to fans is simple: whoever you support, Mind is here to support you.'
Further details on ticketing, permitted attendances and where fans can watch from home will be communicated in due course. £5 from each ticket sold will support charitable projects, with Mind receiving 25 per cent of proceeds from each of the three matches in the Mind Series and with each club’s Foundation receiving 75 per cent of proceeds from that club’s respective home match.