Sheffield United are set to place some of their non-playing staff on furlough, reports the Sheffield Star.
It is going to affect fewer than 50 full-time employees. They are all currently unable to do their jobs because of the Premier League’s decision to suspend fixtures until at least April 30.
The government’s worker retention scheme pays 80 percent of a person’s wages up to the value of £2,500 a month. The Blades have pledged to pay the other 20 percent to ensure all those affected receive their full salaries.
Several top flight clubs in England have already chosen to do something similar. This includes Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool also placed some non-playing staff on temporary leave, but then made a u-turn and reversed the decision following backlash from fans.
According to BBC Sport, the Reds are the world’s seventh richest club and made a profit of £42m last year.
United, newly promoted to the Premier League this season, are not in the same position and do not have huge amounts of cash reserves to fall back on.
Instead they choose to reinvest money from promotion back into the club. They have spent over £65m on new players this term, including the likes of Sander Berge, Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset.
What Sheffield United fans think of the furlough decision
A traditionally working class club, it’s fair to say that most supporters have not reacted well to this reported decision.
Pretty poor from United this. Thought we was better than that
— Adam (@adzblade8) April 7, 2020
I criticised other premier clubs for doing this so I will have to be fair and say I am extremely disappointed in Utd for doing this. Frankly I find it embarrassing.
— Phil B (@philbear04) April 7, 2020
While we haven’t the wealth of a Liverpool or Spurs & most in the league for that matter & the small number of employees are getting 100% of their income it’s still poor from UTD.
— Lee Simpson (@LeeSimmo73) April 7, 2020
Disappointed. If we have the money to pay our players, we easily have the money to pay non-playing staff without taking government money.
Let’s be clear: this decision is the result of people at the club realising they can save a tiny fraction of their expenditure.
— Emperor Quarantine (@TeachSUFC) April 7, 2020
Very disappointing from the Blades this, there have been hardly any missteps this season but I feel like this is a decision the club will regret.
— Jodie Evans (@spacecowboy1981) April 7, 2020
If this is true I’m disgusted, were a working class community club that’s always looked after its own!!! This best not be true otherwise we best all get stuck into them, footballs only gunna be gone for another month or two what really is the saving on those staff in that period
— dominic mccormick (@Dommccormck) April 7, 2020
A small number of staff on furlough will not safeguard the future of the club. It’s a poor decision at a time when we all need to support each other through this difficult time. It will be interesting to get Wilder and Sharp’s reaction if you can James.
— Nick Parker (@nparker281) April 7, 2020