Liverpool have reversed their decision to place staff on furlough due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Reds announced on Saturday the club had placed some staff impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough but that they would still receive 100 per cent of their wage. Liverpool’s decision has received a lot of criticism, with fellow Premier League clubs Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich also choosing to use the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
However, the Reds have now confirmed they’ve changed their mind.
Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore penned a letter to fans, saying: “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.”
Liverpool were slammed by club heroes Jamie Carragher, Dietmar Hamann and Danny Murphy after their announcement on Saturday.
The Reds were slammed after they posted pre-tax profits of £42m last year.
However, Moore says there’s no way for Liverpool to continue to earn with Premier League football suspended until April 30 at the very earliest.
“We would like to acknowledge the great army of staff and casual workers who work tirelessly to ensure Liverpool is a club that operates to the highest of standards,” Moore added.
“But in the spirit of transparency we must also be clear, despite the fact we were in a healthy position prior to this crisis, our revenues have been shut off yet our outgoings remain.
“And like almost every sector of society, there is great uncertainty and concern over our present and future.
“Like any responsible employer concerned for its workers in the current situation, the club continues 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.