Spirit of Shankly demand Liverpool explanation for furloughing staff despite £42m profit last year

Liverpool fans’ group Spirit of Shankly has written to the club demanding an explanation after the controversial decision to furlough non-playing staff.

The Reds announced their decision to follow Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich City by placing non-playing staff on the government’s furlough scheme to combat the coronavirus crisis, with the remaining 20 per cent made up by the club.

But the European champions have received widespread criticism for furloughing their staff, which will see taxpayers pay 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500.

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That is mainly due to the Reds only recently announcing they made a £42 million profit last year, with Spirit of Shankly adamant this should make the club ineligible to take advantage of the scheme.

The statement read: “LFC announced they are to furlough non-playing staff. We know no details, yet were asked for a statement. One was given in good faith saying for us the priority is LFC staff being paid 100 per cent of their regular wage.

“During this crisis, many workers have lost or will lose their livelihoods. When it began, Spirit of Shankly contacted Liverpool to seek assurances that all non-playing staff would be guaranteed to receive 100 per cent wages.

“We were told this would happen and we made a statement. This was and continues to be our priority.

“Many of our members and the committee have raised concerns that the club intend to use taxpayer’s money to pay staff. We can all agree this is wrong, but again for Spirit of Shankly the prerogative is protecting jobs.

“It is the club who make the decision on how to pay their staff and they are the ones who need to answer why, if they decide to furlough.

“Our belief is that no million-pound plus profit-making organisation should be relying on tax-payer subsidies in times of crises, yet football as a money-making industry has been singled out.

“It is an easy target for the authorities. We are contacting the club now and asking them to explain their position and reasoning. We will report back as soon as we hear back.

“Spirit of Shankly have been working tirelessly in our communities over the past couple of weeks delivering food bags to those most in need and being here for people.”

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