Jame Carragher took aim at his former club Liverpool for the ‘poor’ decision to put staff on furlough amid the coronavirus crisis, while fellow ex-Red Stan Collymore described the move as ‘plain f***ing wrong’.
The club confirmed in a statement on Saturday that non-playing staff would be paid 80% of their salary through the government’s job-retention scheme – funded by the tax payer – with the rest of their wages topped up by the club.
‘Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough,’ the statement read.
‘The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100 per cent of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged. Last month the club also confirmed that it would pay its matchday and non-matchday staff while the Premier League is suspended.’
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Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are among the Premier League clubs to have taken similar action but Carragher, who won the Champions League during his time at Anfield, blasted his former club for their actions.
‘Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts,’ Carragher tweeted.
‘Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC.’
The German manager said in a statement: ‘If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.
‘Today’s decision and announcement is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe. Because of that we support it completely.
‘We have seen members of teams we compete against become ill. This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity.
‘To our rival clubs and individuals who are affected and to those who later will become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
‘None of us know in this moment what the final outcome will be, but as a team we have to have belief that the authorities make decisions based on sound judgement and morality.
‘Yes, I am the manager of this team and club and therefore carry a leadership responsibility with regards to our future on the pitch.
‘But I think in the present moment, with so many people around our city, the region, the country and the world facing anxiety and uncertainty, it would be entirely wrong to speak about anything other than advising people to follow expert advice and look after themselves and each other.
‘The message from the team to our supporters is only about your well-being. Put your health first. Don’t take any risk.
‘Think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them. Please look after yourselves and look out for each other.’
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