Liverpool have announced their decision to not use the government's furlough scheme to pay their non-playing staff. The club came under intense criticism by fans and former players after they announced around 200 staff members would be placed on furlough during the coronavirus lockdown. However, the club was quick to backtrack on their decision and Liverpool's CEO Peter Moore penned down an apology to the fans days after the Liverpool furlough statement.
The letter read, 'Allowing for perspective in these unprecedented and harrowing times, it is important to address an issue we, as an organisation, have been involved in since the weekend.'
'A range of possible scenarios were considered, including but not restricted to: applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which pays 80 percent of salary and guaranteeing the 20 percent 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.'
Peter Moore admitted that the club came to the wrong conclusion by opting to use the government's furlough scheme. However, Moore issued an official apology to the fans and everyone who was hurt by the decision. Moore further wrote, '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.'
Along with the apology, Peter Moore also acknowledged the uncertainty and the unpredictability in the club's functioning due to the country-wide lockdown. Moore noted that the club is 'exploring all avenues to limit the inevitable damage'.
Meanwhile, Liverpool fans expressed their delight after the club's public apology. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher and former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore were among the personalities who criticised the club after the Liverpool furlough staff statement.
In his letter, Moore says: "We believe we came to the wrong decision."— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) April 6, 2020
Liverpool absolutely came to the wrong decision on Saturday afternoon. They have now arrived at the right decision.
Well done to #LFC for reversing their furlough decision - they didn't have to, and they deserve some credit for doing so.— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) April 6, 2020
But it's still staggering it took a public backlash for them to realise that would be the reaction - that should have been obvious from the start.
I hold Liverpool to a higher standard than any other company in the world. I did not expect them to U-turn but my word I'm glad they did.— Chris Pajak (@mrbloodred) April 6, 2020