Tottenham announced recently that they would be cutting 20% of the wages of their non-playing staff, using the government furlough scheme.
Spurs, along with the likes of Newcastle United, Liverpool, Norwich and Bournemouth who have also applied for the scheme, have been criticised for their actions.
There was a meeting on Friday to discuss the prospect of players taking wage cuts to help precarious clubs in the lower league as well as non-playing staff at their respective clubs but the Athletic reports that discussions have hit a dead-end.
Former Tottenham and Liverpool midfielder, Danny Murphy, expressed his disappointment at the clubs’ actions and claimed that it could lead to a backlash from the fans.
In his column for the Daily Mail: “We’ve already seen good and bad in our industry. From my experience, footballers do step up when needed and it’s no surprise to me that Jordan Henderson and other Premier League captains have been looking at ways to use their financial power to help the NHS and charities.
“But there has been a great negative as well with big clubs like Newcastle, Tottenham and, I’m sorry to say, my club Liverpool using the Government’s furlough scheme to pay cleaners and other non-playing staff. It is grotesque because it wasn’t introduced for Premier League clubs who have more than enough money to look after their own.
“I think there will be a backlash and while the club’s business people might think it will save them some money in the short-term, it will cause reputational damage.”
The former England midfielder also suggested that the announcement had put the players of these clubs in a difficult position as they have now become the subject of public scrutiny.
Murphy added: “It also makes the players look bad through no fault of their own. People will be seeing government funding for deserving causes being channelled to clubs who don’t need it, while they are paying players huge wages. And as I’ve said, I’m sure those players – criticised by health secretary Matt Hancock last week – would be happy any salary deferrals or cuts to be used to help well-paid employees.
“The hasty decision to furlough, started by Newcastle and now followed by four other Premier League clubs including Norwich and Bournemouth, have muddied the waters at a time when the players themselves are discussing what they can do to help.”
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I believe we will see more clubs announcing that they too have chosen to use the scheme in the coming days and weeks. It is not just terrible from a moral standpoint but also a bad PR decision by these clubs. However, now that some have chosen to go for it, others will be forced to follow as it becomes a question of competitive advantage.
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