Town Close to Furloughing Staff
Wednesday, 1st Apr 2020 11:03
TWTD understands Town are closing in on joining a number of other clubs in putting the vast majority of their off-field staff on furlough.
Despite football having been suspended since Friday 13th March, Town’s off-field staff have continued to work, most of them from home, and have been paid their full wage as normal for March.
However, the Blues are set to follow the likes of Newcastle, Norwich and Tottenham by utilising the Government’s emergency salary scheme which allows staff to claim 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
We understand, unlike some of the clubs taking the furlough route, owner Marcus Evans will then pay the remaining 20 per cent to ensure no one is forced to take a wage cut.
Meanwhile, the Premier League and EFL clubs are meeting with the PFA today to discuss a collective deferral of players' wages.
Discussions regarding the financial impact of football’s suspension - currently to April 30th but with the expectation that the date of return will be some while after that - have been ongoing following meetings last week with the deferral among the options.
Championship Birmingham City having asked their players earning in excess of £6,000 to defer 50 per cent of their wages, while the Leeds squad, staff and senior management have voluntarily deferred their salaries to help their off-field staff.
Last week, Town manager Paul Lambert said he and his staff were willing to make a similar move.
Clubs across the board are losing revenue - Town are missing out on income of around £100,000 per home game - and a fortnight ago the EFL released a £50 million package to assist their clubs with sides in League One understood to have received £433,000 made up of an advance in Basic Award payments and interest-free loans.
Furloughing players has also been under discussion. While virtually all players even at League One level earn considerably more than the £2,500 limit, the saving would still be significant, particularly for lower division clubs.
Earlier this morning, the EFL, Premier League, FA and FSA released a joint-statement on the current situation.
It reads: “Covid-19 has presented a hugely challenging and uncertain time for everyone and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic. The Government’s message is clear - stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
“We are all committed to getting back to playing the game we love - but only when it is safe to do so. Amid the current uncertainty, supporters will understandably have a number of questions relating to the season and the clubs they follow, and there are no quick answers to how and when we will return to what used to be our football normality.
“The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), the EFL, Premier League and The FA want to reiterate that clubs and their supporters have a vital role to play in supporting the Government’s guidance and ensuring community strength and solidarity. While there is no football, our sport can still play its part.
“Clubs and supporters have responded magnificently with staff, fans and volunteers supporting those most in need in their local towns and cities.
“Fans can keep up to date with how the EFL and Premier League clubs are providing wide-ranging support for their communities, including the provision of facilities for medical use and accommodation for NHS staff. Clubs are also supporting foodbanks, transporting medicines and food and telephoning the most vulnerable members of society.
“Many supporters’ groups across the country have also shown just how valuable they are. We have seen official supporters’ trusts raising tens of thousands of pounds in their local communities, donating to local foodbanks, delivering care packages and helping NHS staff.
“The work of clubs, staff, volunteers and fans is making a difference to those in need. The FSA, EFL, Premier League and The FA encourage all clubs and supporters’ groups to remain in contact during this difficult time and, where possible, support one another in their community efforts.
“We also extend our gratitude to those football supporters who are key workers, and those who have offered their support on a volunteer basis.
“We urge fans across the country to follow the ongoing Government advice, to provide us all with the best opportunity to keep fans and communities safe.
“It is also important to note that any official communications will come from the Government and football authorities themselves. Please follow our official channels for this information.
“As the situation is regularly changing, the Premier League, EFL and The FA will continue to consult the FSA and keep supporters updated on the progress made as soon as is practically possible. Thank you, once again, for your continued patience, work and support.”
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