Man Utd owners the Glazers intervened on furloughing staff amid coronavirus crisis
Manchester United’s owners, the Glazers, were reportedly behind the club’s decision not to furlough staff amid the coronavirus crisis. The Red Devils have decided they will be paying 900 full-time staff their full wages and have encouraged some to volunteer to help the NHS in the country’s desperate hour of need.
Premier League clubs have stirred controversy by applying for furlough, with Tottenham and Newcastle angering many by doing just that.
Liverpool also did the same but, on Monday, the Reds performed a u-turn and issued a statement apologising for any outrage caused.
At United, it’s never been their intention to apply for furlough and rely on government money to help their staff.
And The Athletic say the decision came directly from the Glazers, who made the call relatively quickly after the government announced the scene on March 20.
Within a week, the Glazers communicated that stance.
And they wish to emerge from the coronavirus having acted in the best way possible, never considering taking up the government on their offer of furlough.
United want to be seen in a positive light and are determined to come out of the pandemic with their reputation intact.
While they’ve acted well and pleased fans in the process, Liverpool prompted outrage with their decision to apply for furlough.
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But, on Monday, Reds chief Peter Moore issued a statement to reverse the decision.
“Dear Liverpool supporters,” it read.
“First and foremost on behalf of our ownership, Fenway Sports Group, we would like to emphasise the thoughts and concerns of everyone are with those suffering from the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic and the families of those affected.
“We would also recognise and pay tribute to the heroism of the incredible health service and key workers locally, nationally and internationally. All other worries should be placed in that context first.
“Allowing for perspective in these unprecedented and harrowing times, it is important to address an issue we, as an organisation, have been involved in since the weekend.
“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.
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“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.
“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.
“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.
“Having these vital financial resources so profoundly impacted would obviously negatively affect our ability to operate as we previously have.
“We are engaged in the process of exploring all avenues within our scope to limit the inevitable damage. We thank the many amazing people in our club, at all levels, who are committed to helping us do just that, despite the complexity and unpredictability in the world and our industry.
“We would also like to take the opportunity to thank those who have engaged with us in a productive fashion, none more so than our supporters, their representatives, particularly Spirit of Shankly, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, local MPs Dan Carden and many other individuals, with whom we have had much valued dialogue.
“Stay safe. Peter Moore.”
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