Liverpool have reversed their decision to use the government’s furlough scheme to pay non-playing club staff, apologising to fans for coming to the “wrong conclusion”.
The club had planned to use the scheme to pay around 200 staff, whose work has been affected by the suspension of the Premier League, a move which was criticised by former players Jamie Carragher and Dietmar Hamann.
In an open letter to fans, CEO Peter Moore wrote:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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