Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 31 May 2020

Coronavirus: Former players criticise Liverpool's 'poor' decision to furlough non-playing staff

The Premier League leaders also said they are holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff

Former Liverpool players have criticised the Premier League club for furloughing some of their non-playing staff as a cost-cutting measure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League leaders also said they are holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff, while insisting that the furloughed staff would continue to receive 100 per cent of their salaries.

Several English top-flight clubs, such as Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, have already put non-playing staff on furlough, with football's return in England contingent on medical guidance and government support.

"Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough," the European champions said in a statement.

"The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100 per cent of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged."

Furloughed British workers can claim 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 (Dh11,300) per month as part of the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means Liverpool will top up the remaining 20 per cent of salaries for furloughed staff.

The Premier League said on Friday clubs would consult with their players over a proposed 30 per cent reduction in wages, but talks on Saturday yielded no progress.

Liverpool said salary deductions were being discussed and there was "a collective commitment at senior levels of the club" to secure jobs for employees.

"These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing," the club said.

Liverpool's decision was criticised by former player, turned television pundit, Jamie Carragher.

“[Liverpool manager] Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts,” he tweeted. “Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC."

Another former player, ex-Germany international Dietmar Hamann, was also critical.

"Astonished by the news that @lfc takes advantage of the furlough scheme to claim 80% of non playing staff's wages back off the government. That’s not what the scheme was designed for. Contrary to the morals and values of the club I got to know," he wrote on twitter.

Updated: April 5, 2020 08:48 AM

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