Premier League leaders Liverpool have walked back their decision to furlough some of their non-playing staff following severe backlash from the British government and supporters.
Reds CEO Peter Moore announced the policy reversal and apologised to fans on Monday.
The club announced at the weekend they had furloughed some of their non-playing staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff.
The decision was made after the Premier League was suspended last month and, with no clear date for when it can resume, the club said they intended to apply to the British government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to reclaim a percentage of the wages.
“We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week to announce that we intended to apply to the Coronavirus Retention Scheme and furlough staff due to the suspension of the Premier League football calendar, and are truly sorry for that,” Moore said in a statement.
“Our intentions were, and still are, to ensure the entire workforce is given as much protection as possible from redundancy and/or loss of earnings during this unprecedented period.
“We are therefore committed to finding alternative ways to operate while there are no football matches being played that ensures we are not applying for the government relief scheme.”
While players in other leading leagues have agreed to pay cuts to safeguard jobs of non-playing staff, Premier League players and managers have been criticised for not taking pay cuts while the clubs’ staff, who earn a fraction of their wages, are furloughed.
The players’ union, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), has resisted calls to accept cuts and argued after a meeting with the Premier League on Saturday that reduced wages would lower tax revenue for the National Health Service.