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Liverpool become fifth Premier League club to furlough non-playing staff

Liverpool become fifth Premier League club to furlough non-playing staff
© Reuters
Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich had already turned to the government's job retention scheme.

Liverpool have placed some non-playing staff on furlough as the Premier League remains suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The PA news agency understands around 200 staff, whose work is effectively idle during the Premier League suspension, have been furloughed as the league leaders join Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich in turning to the government's job retention scheme.

Liverpool, who in February announced pre-tax profits of £42million for 2018-19, will top up the public money received from the government to ensure the affected staff receive their full salaries.

The announcement comes as Premier League clubs are meeting with representatives of players and managers to discuss possible wage cuts for first-team staff.

A Liverpool club statement said: "The club have 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."

In February, Liverpool published their accounts for 2018-19, showing turnover for the year was up £78million to £533million, though profits fell in relation to the previous year after a record £223million investment on players.

A spokesperson for the Spirit of Shankly supporters' group said they were in favour of the move to ensure all employees received their full salaries.

"The starting point of this was when the competitions were first suspended, we immediately contacted the club and made it clear that we expected all non-playing staff to be treated fairly throughout the duration of the suspension," the group told the PA news agency.

"The club gave an undertaking to do that which they've maintained throughout.

"The use of the furlough scheme maintains that commitment and it ensures that all lower-paid staff who run a variety of contracts will continue to receive 100 per cent of their wage. That's got to be seen as a positive."

Norwich City v Liverpool – Premier League – Carrow Road
Jordan Henderson has led talks between Premier League captains on possible wage deductions (Adam Davy/PA)

Talks between the Premier League, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and League Managers' Association (LMA) on potential wage cuts are taking place on Saturday.

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has been at the forefront of talks between Premier League club captains on a co-ordinated player response, while Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Brighton counterpart Graham Potter have both taken voluntary wage cuts.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has backed players and managers to "do the right thing".

"A lot of footballers, past and present, have got a huge conscience about what we do and doing the right thing," Wilder told the BBC's Football Focus programme.

"I am sure we will do the right thing through the PFA for the players, the LMA who look after the managers, the Premier League, EFL and FA, they will always do the right thing."

Danny Rose, centre, has already donated £19,000 to the NHS
Danny Rose, centre, has already donated £19,000 to the NHS (Owen Humphreys/PA)

On-loan Newcastle defender Danny Rose would have "no problem" contributing a portion of his wages to those fighting the outbreak.

"We're all keen to make something happen," Rose said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I can only speak for myself but I would have no problems whatsoever contributing some of my wages to people who are fighting this on the front line and to people who have been affected by what's happening at the minute."

On Friday, North Middlesex University Hospital identified Rose as the individual behind a £19,000 donation to hospital funds.

But Rose said he felt Premier League players were being unfairly pressured to take action after Health Secretary Matt Hancock singled them out on Thursday.

"We sort of feel our backs are against the wall," Rose added. "Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting.

"I've been on the phone to Jordan Henderson and he's working so hard to come up with something.

"It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money. I found that so bizarre."

On Saturday, Burnley said they would face a £50million shortfall if the Premier League season could not be completed.

The Clarets said this was a result of £5million in lost matchday revenue – a shortfall which would remain if the season was completed behind closed doors – as well as a £45million in lost broadcasting revenue. The club suggested the amount could be as high as £100million for some other clubs.

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General view inside Liverpool's Anfield from April 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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