Liverpool reverse decision to furlough staff amid coronavirus pandemic

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019-20

Liverpool have officially announced their intention to pay staff members in full after originally making the decision to use the UK government's furlough scheme to ease the financial stress caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Premier League leaders came in for intense criticism after announcing their initial decision, with fans and former players alike calling for it to be reversed.

Liverpool supporters' union Spirit of Shankly asked the club to explain its course of action, while former Reds Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore were outspoken in their criticism of the club - with Collymore calling it "just plain f*cking wrong".

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Now, the club's chief executive officer Peter Moore has explained the change of course in an open letter on the club's official website.

The statement read: "We have consulted with a range of key stakeholders as part of a process aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for all concerned.

"A range of possible scenarios were considered, including but not restricted to: applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 per cent of salary and guaranteeing the 20 per cent payment; applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with a guarantee to reimburse monies received at a later date; and, thirdly, finding an alternative means to cover our furlough costs.

"It is as a direct result of this extensive consultation and our own internal deliberations at various levels throughout the club that we have opted to find alternative means despite our eligibility to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

"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. 

"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. 

"But in the spirit of transparency we must also be clear, despite the fact we were in a healthy position prior to this crisis, our revenues have been shut off yet our outgoings remain. And like almost every sector of society, there is great uncertainty and concern over our present and future."