Tottenham have backtracked on their decision to furlough non-playing staff through the British government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Daniel Levy and co. came under intense scrutiny for opting into the programme, which would have seen those staff receive an effective 20 per cent salary cut during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tottenham say they have listened to the feedback they received and now only directors will be subject to the reduction in pay.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, meanwhile, will be provided as a testing facility to the NHS as they fight coronavirus.
The statement read: “Following yet another difficult week for our country, our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our profound thanks go to the NHS and all key workers for the invaluable roles they are fulfilling at this critical time.
“The footballing world is now recognising the current and potential future impact of the pandemic. It has destabilised businesses, clubs and the sport we all love – along with the rest of the football eco-system and its dependents.
“All clubs will be facing different pressures. The cessation of our Club’s operations, particularly given our stadium’s use as a multi-purpose venue, has come at a challenging time for us.
“In addition to the postponement of football, we have had rugby, concerts, boxing events and conferences postponed or cancelled. Since our results for the year end 30 June 2019, our net debt has risen, as anticipated, as we continued to invest in the team and completed budgeted capital projects.
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“In these uncertain times, we have to ensure we are in a position to meet our financial obligations and protect the Club’s ability to be able to operate when football returns. However, we also need, importantly, to support our wider communities and the NHS. This has been a week when we have worked hard to do both.
“In our last update we said we would keep our position under review, especially in the context of revised budgets and cost cutting. Having done so we have decided that all non-playing staff, whether full-time, casual or furloughed, will receive 100 per cent of their pay for April and May. Only the Board will take salary reductions.
“With no clarity on when football might resume and under what conditions, we shall continue to keep this under on-going review. We should like to thank our staff for their incredible support and understanding.
“We are acutely aware that many supporters were against the decision we made regarding furloughing staff who could not carry out their jobs from home – due to the nature of their work – and our intention to apply, if applicable, for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), a scheme designed to ensure that jobs and employment rights are protected.
“Indeed we have seen opposition from fans to fellow Premier League clubs accessing the CJRS too. This once again underlines that we bear different pressures to other businesses, many of whom have and will continue to apply for support from the scheme as the Government intended.
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“In view of supporter sentiment regarding the scheme, it is now not our intention to make use of the current CJRS that runs until the end of May. We shall consult with stakeholders, including the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust with whom we have been in dialogue over the past week and who share our desire to protect jobs, should circumstances change going forward.”
Tottenham chairman Levy said: “The criticism the Club has received over the last week has been felt all the more keenly because of our track record of good works and our huge sense of responsibility to care for those that rely on us, particularly locally.
“It was never our intent, as custodians, to do anything other than put measures in place to protect jobs whilst the Club sought to continue to operate in a self-sufficient manner during uncertain times.
“We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their Club.”
Tottenham added: “Equipment has now been installed in our stadium to operate drive-through Covid-19 testing and swabbing for NHS staff, families and their dependents. Our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium becomes the first Premier League ground to be used for testing, following on from other sporting venues around the world.”