Liverpool have been slammed after announcing that they have placed some members of their non-playing staff on furlough.
A club statement said:
“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.
The reigning European and World Club champions recently announced a £42 million profit for last year, are trying to claim that the furloughed staff members will be paid the full amount of their salaries. The PR disaster for Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool FC is that the club will only be paying 20% of those salaries, with the rest being paid by the tax payer through a government job retention scheme.
Liverpool have also claimed they will be in regular contact with club staff over updates, while employees will also have access to an “online portal providing health and wellbeing information”.
Despite the Premier League leaders doing their best, an unnamed staff member has told the BBC that they feel let down by their actions.
They said: “The club call their staff their family – I’m not feeling like a family member.
“Why is a club that turns over £100m using a government scheme for its staff when other businesses are more in need of it?
“I feel disappointed and I’m feeling that this government scheme could be used by businesses in trouble.”
Liverpool fans also expressed disappointment that the club are requiring assistance from the government, despite being one of the wealthiest football clubs.
One supporter tweeted:
“If this is true I’m disgusted in @LFC there is no way a club the stature of Liverpool should be paying there (sic) players full pay and not the rest of the clubs other employees. Absolutely disgusting.”
“Poor poor poor. That scheme should not be available to premier league clubs that receive hundreds of millions every year. FSG has done well for the club but this will be forever remembered..”
A third added:
“I am surprised they’ve done this considering the financial position the club are in. It feels like we’re taking advantage and potentially taking much needed wages from companies that can’t afford to pay their wage bill.”
This is an absolutely shocking PR disaster for John Henry and Fenway Sports Group. If there is one club in England that has the feel of a family its Liverpool with its amazing relationship between the clubs and fans. But this is the move by a tone-deaf overseas owner, who does not realize the role that Liverpool FC play in the Merseyside community.