Tottenham Hotspur make U-turn on furlough decision, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Tottenham Hotspur make U-turn on furlough decision

Tottenham Hotspur have reversed their decision to furlough staff during the coronavirus pandemic amid criticism from supporters, the English Premier League club said in a statement yesterday.

Spurs had imposed a 20 per cent pay cut on 550 non-playing employees in April and May to protect jobs.

But the club said yesterday that only board members would see salary reductions and all other employees - whether full-time, casual, or furloughed - would be paid 100 per cent of their wages for April and May.

"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," club chairman Daniel Levy said.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust had said the club's decision to use the government scheme, where employers can claim for 80 per cent of furloughed staff's monthly wages up to £2,500 (S$4,400) per month - was harming its reputation.

"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," Levy added.

"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."

Spurs said that medical equipment had been installed in their stadium to operate drive-through Covid-19 testing and swabbing for NHS (National Health Service) staff, families and their dependants.

"Our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium becomes the first Premier League ground to be used for testing, following on from other sporting venues around the world," the club added.

The stadium has also been fitted out to house the North Middlesex Hospital's Women's Outpatient Services, freeing up capacity at the hospital to treat patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

Earlier, Liverpool also reversed their decision to furlough their non-playing employees after receiving criticism.

Professional football in England had been suspended until April 30 at least, but the EPL League has said the season will resume only when the situation stabilises. - REUTERS