Former players, fans and rivals have joined together to condemn Liverpool FC after the club announced it would place a number of non-playing staff on a government scheme to help pay wages.
Liverpool announced some staff were placed on furlough, which involves members of the workforce that are affected can claim 80 per cent of their wages from the United Kingdom government, though the Reds will top up any shortfall in their pay.
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But fans were quick to slam reigning Champions League winners Liverpool after the club announced it made a £42 million ($A86m) profit in the past year.
Leading the condemnation was former legends Stan Collymore and Jamie Carragher having been left unimpressed by the decision to lean on government assistance when it was designed to help smaller businesses.
"Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in Premier League players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect and goodwill is lost, poor this Liverpool,” Carragher tweeted.
Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC https://t.co/9bE8Rw1veE— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 4, 2020
Ex-Reds striker Stan Collymore echoed Carragher’s sentiment, but went in harder on the club.
"I don't know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won't be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloghing staff. It's just plain f***ing wrong.
"Fellow football fans, furlough is for small business staff to keep those small businesses from going bump! Every Premier League owner has serious cash, and make money from skyrocketing values of clubs, so what aren't you getting about YOUR owners dipping into THEIR pocket?"
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Fans of the club also announced their shame at Liverpool’s decision during a pandemic crisis when so many small businesses are struggling.
Indefensible from Liverpool. A choice not a necessity.— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 4, 2020
“You will never walk alone”. Unless there is a pandemic and we can save cash at the tax payers expense. Liverpool FC 👏— Dr Alex (@DrAlexGeorge) April 4, 2020
Could not agree with you more @MelissaReddy_ !! This is truly a disgraceful decision by @LFC, a Football Club I’ve always supported & admired for their values..😡🤬— Pobes 🇲🇲🇬🇧 (@Burmese_Bandit) April 4, 2020
Do the right thing & let those in less fortunate circumstances be recipients of #Furlough Scheme#CoronaVirusUK https://t.co/bGL8cTFDh0
Didi seems to echo the thoughts of the vast majority of Liverpool fans on this one https://t.co/9c74DnQlqd— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) April 4, 2020
Can't believe it. I'm gutted and disappointed at my club. Look at our rivals. Are you telling me @LFC that this magnificent, historical, proud and important club is not able to look after its own at a time when they need it the most? This is just wrong. https://t.co/LVWPhgW3tZ— Khui (@curiouskhui) April 4, 2020
Can I just take this moment to highlight that our club, Leeds United, Dirty Leeds, now have thd moral high-ground in English football. Players earning a fraction of Liverpool and Spurs players, deferring wages to ensure lower paid employees still get paid.— Tasker (@Mr_Tasker) April 4, 2020
Not a dig at Liverpool fans. Not your fault whatsoever, Liverpool as a club has seriously let them self down it’s awful. They will be bidding 50m+ and offering 200k a week wages in this summer window. Yet tax payers paying their staff. Awful! Only one classy club in Liverpool 💙— Jimmy McCann (@JamesMcCann74) April 4, 2020
Tottenham, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth, meanwhile, have all taken advantage of the furlough scheme due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And a statement from the league leaders regarding their decision to furlough read: "Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough.
"The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100 per cent of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged. Last month the club also confirmed that it would pay its matchday and non-matchday staff while the Premier League is suspended.
"Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club – on and off the pitch – with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis.
"There is ongoing active engagement about the topic of salary deductions during the period matches are not being played to schedule. These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing."