The campaign attracted widespread media coverage after getting several Premier League footballers to pledge a day’s wages to a fund for nurses. Last week, it published details of which players had pledged money on its website.
Southgate slammed the charity, claiming it ‘shamed’ those who had not pledged money. He has now blocked his proposed team donation.
But the institute said it had no problem with the campaign’s comms strategy. ‘As long it has not breached any agreements as to what it could do with the information, it has not done anything wrong,’ argued director of policy and campaigns Megan Pacey.
She added: ‘It is a shame that this row has erupted because the campaign started off as a win-win situation for everyone. The campaign raised funds while footballers, who are often portrayed as being paid excessively, got good PR for doing something supportive.’
A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Nurses, who is administrating the fund, said: ‘We would never criticise players for choosing to support another charity. That is totally their right.’