PREMIER LEAGUE

Coronavirus: Liverpool blasted for furloughing non-playing staff

With the Premier League on hold not expected to resume in the immediate future, Liverpool have taken the controversial decision to furlough non-playing staff.

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Coronavirus: Liverpool furlough staff affected by Premier League suspension

Liverpool FC have placed a number of non-playing staff impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough, the club announced on Saturday. Members of the workforce that are affected can claim 80 per cent of their wages – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month – which will be paid by the United Kingdom government, although Liverpool vow to top up any shortfall in their pay.

Tottenham, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth have all taken advantage of the furlough scheme due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League announced on Friday it will not resume in early May as had previously been planned.

Liverpool take advantage of government furlough scheme

A statement from the league leaders read: "Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough. The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100 per cent of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged. Last month the club also confirmed that it would pay its matchday and non-matchday staff while the Premier League is suspended. Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club – on and off the pitch – with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis. There is ongoing active engagement about the topic of salary deductions during the period matches are not being played to schedule. These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing."

Collymore and Carragher outraged at furlough decision

The move has has surprised and shocked Liverpool supporters as well as many of the club's former players. Stan Collymore took to Twitter to vent his outrage at the club's decision, and wrote: "I don't know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won't be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff". Ex-club vice-captain Jamie Carragher added, "Jürgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in Premier League players taking wages cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost; poor this from LFC".

Henderson and Robertson lend a hand to the cause

There has been public pressure on Premier League players to commit to pay cuts, with clubs agreeing in a meeting on Friday they would discuss 30 per cent wage reductions with players. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is reportedly spearheading an attempt from Premier League stars to raise funds for the National Health Service. While left-back Andy Robertson is believed to be the person responsible for "a very generous donation" to help six food banks running in his hometown, Glasgow.

Liverpool meanwhile, highlighted some of the charitable work already done by their players during the coronavirus pandemic. "Liverpool FC has also been actively working with its players, Liverpool FC Foundation and the club's community outreach programme, Red Neighbours, to ensure its community response is targeted to help local families in food crises and those that are socially isolated," said the statement. A significant donation has been made to St Andrew's foodbank in north Liverpool by the first-team players and Liverpool FC Foundation, an emergency foodbank appeal was launched by Liverpool FC Foundation to help those in need and LFC staff are continuing to volunteer to help ensure families have food throughout the crisis and beyond."