'Indefensible': Billion-dollar club's 'disgraceful' act amid virus crisis

Liverpool's Sadio Mane (L) speaks with midfielder Mohamed Salah during a match.
Liverpool's Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) speaks with Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

TROUBLE: Star arrested in hotel bar after breaking lockdown to drink

‘ENJOYING LOCKDOWN’: Footballer caught in embarrassing X-Rated blunder

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.

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?"

Never Walk Alone? Fans slam Reds

Fans of the club also announced their shame at Liverpool’s decision during a pandemic crisis when so many small businesses are struggling.

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."