Premier League leaders Liverpool FC have backtracked on their decision to furlough around 200 members of their non-playing staff in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement drew swift criticism from all around considering the £42m profit they reported last year. Also Read - Once Team Management Decides Something, I Don't Think There Should be a Place For Contrarian View: Wriddhiman Saha
Club chief executive Peter Moore, in a letter addressed to fans, said, “We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week and are truly sorry for that.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Amid Surge in Cases in Capital, Delhi Government Issues New SOPs For COVID Hospitals | Read Here
He continued, “We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week to announce that we intended to apply to the Coronavirus Retention Scheme and furlough staff due to the suspension of the Premier League football calendar, and are truly sorry for that. Also Read - Rafael Nadal Won't 'Travel to New York Today' For US Open Unless It's Extremely Safe
“Our intentions were, and still are, to ensure the entire workforce is given as much protection as possible from redundancy and/or loss of earnings during this unprecedented period.
“We are therefore committed to finding alternative ways to operate while there are no football matches being played that ensures we are not applying for the government relief scheme.
Liverpool were the fifth Premier League club after Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City to furlough some of their non-playing staff.
The football season in UK and Europe has been suspended indefinitely in the aftermath of coronavirus.
As per the taxpayer-funded job retention scheme, government will pay 80 per cent of an employee’s wage belonging to eligible organisations with the employers only paying the difference.
A meeting between the US owners Fenway Sports Group, executives and stakeholders followed the severe criticism after which the U-turn came.
“It is as a direct result of this extensive consultation and our own internal deliberations at various levels throughout the club that we have opted to find alternative means despite our eligibility to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme,” Moore added.
The club, Moores said, is working to “prepare for a range of different scenarios, around when football can return to operating as it did before the pandemic. 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 said.