Spurs reverse decision to furlough non-playing staff after fans’ opposition
Tottenham Hotspur have reversed their decision to furlough staff during the coronavirus pandemic amid criticism from supporters, the English Premier League (EPL) club said in a statement on Monday.
Spurs had imposed a 20 percent pay cut on 550 non-playing staff in April and May to protect jobs.
But the club said on Monday that only board members would see salary reductions.
It added that all other employees —– whether full-time, casual, or furloughed —– would be paid 100 percent of their wages for April and May.
“The criticism the club has received over the last week has been felt all the more keenly because of our track record of good works and our huge sense of responsibility to care for those that rely on us, particularly locally,” club chairman Daniel Levy said.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) had said the club’s decision to use the government scheme was harming its reputation.
The scheme is a situation where employers can claim for 80 percent of furloughed staff’s monthly wages up to 2,500 pounds (3,126 dollars) per month.
THST however added on Monday that the club’s latest decision showed “maturity and humility.”
“We’re pleased that, rather than doubling down, the club’s board has listened to the fans on this occasion and ultimately done the right thing,” THST said in a statement.
“…no organisation is going to get everything right in these unprecedented circumstances and the eventual outcome is what matters…
“This is the first step, but a big step, in restoring relations between fans and the club.”
Levy added that Spurs’ earlier move had only intended to put measures in place to protect jobs while they sought to continue to operate in a self-sufficient manner.
“We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club,” he added.
Spurs said medical equipment had been installed in their stadium to operate drive-through COVID-19 testing and swabbing for NHS staff, families and their dependents.
“Our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium becomes the first Premier League ground to be used for testing, following on from other sports venues around the world,” the club added.
The stadium has also been fitted out to house the North Middlesex Hospital’s Women’s Outpatient Services, freeing up capacity at the hospital to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
Professional football in England had been suspended until April 30, and the Premier League has said the season would only resume when the situation stabilises.