Liverpool reverse furlough decision; apologise to fans

Liverpool, April 7 (IANS) After facing fierce criticism, Liverpool have reversed their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave.

The Premier League giants last week had said they were going to apply to the government’s taxpayer-funded job retention scheme.

However, on Monday, chief executive Peter Moore in a letter addressed to the fans said: “We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week and are truly sorry for that.”

“We have consulted with a range of key stakeholders as part of a process aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for all concerned. A range of possible scenarios were considered, including but not restricted to: applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 per cent of salary and guaranteeing the 20 per cent payment; applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with a guarantee to reimburse monies received at a later date; and, thirdly, finding an alternative means to cover our furlough costs,” he added.

He added that the club has “opted to find alternative means” to pay staff.

The Reds had become the fifth Premier League team to furlough non-playing staff with the season suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the entire sports calendar to a grinding halt.

Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City had already announced they will furlough some non-playing staff, reported BBC Sport.

“Like any responsible employer concerned for its workers in the current situation, the club continues to prepare for a range of different scenarios, around when football can return to operating as it did before the pandemic,” said Moore.

“These scenarios range from best case to worst, and everything in between.

“It is an unavoidable truth that several of these scenarios involve a massive downturn in revenue, with correspondingly unprecedented operating losses.

“Having these vital financial resources so profoundly impacted would obviously negatively affect our ability to operate as we previously have,” he added.

–IANS
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