Spirit of Shankly, Liverpool’s official fans’ union, have this evening released a statement, criticizing the club’s decision to furlough non-playing staff, as well as calling for an explanation from the Reds’ hierarchy.
Liverpool’s controversial decision
The main talking point with regards to English football over the last 24 hours has surrounded the actions of Liverpool.
The COVID-19 crisis has of course seen clubs around the globe forced into emergency measures of late, to deal with the financial impact of lost revenue.
To this point, however, while talks regarding potential 30% wage reductions are underway, no Premier League club has yet confirmed the implementation of pay-cuts to playing staff.
While these 3 clubs have since been widely-targeted for their money-saving measures, though, none have faced even remotely the same level of backlash as Liverpool.
The Reds announced their own decision to furlough members of non-playing staff yesterday afternoon.
In a statement across the club’s website and social media platforms, it was revealed:
‘Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough.’
#LFC is continuing to deal with a range of challenges caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to update supporters on the progress that has been made to date. https://t.co/0QAiCSVDv6
— Liverpool FC (at 🏠) (@LFC) April 4, 2020
A host of high-profile names across the football world have since hit out at the European champions for their unethical actions, with former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher having led the charge:
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
‘Explain the position and reasoning’
And, as outlined above, the latest group to have taken aim at the Reds’ hierarchy for their handling of the COVID-19 situation are Spirit of Shankly.
The famed SOS are Liverpool’s official supporters’ union, and today they released a statement of their own, in response to the club.
The Merseyside giants’ fanbase have labelled the decision taken by Liverpool’s hierarchy as ‘wrong’, though they were also keen to add that ‘football has been singled out’ for particularly harsh criticism by the media over recent weeks.
SOS go on to confirm that they have contacted the club directly, demanding an explanation for their actions.
Spirit of Shankly’s statement in full is showcased below:
‘Spirit of Shankly want to make it clear that we have not refused to criticise the club. Our chair has been misquoted and misrepresented by a journalist on Twitter looking for clicks.’
‘On Saturday 4 April, LFC announced they are to furlough non-playing staff. We know no details, yet were asked for a statement. One was given in good faith saying for us the priority is LFC staff being paid 100% of their regular wage.’
‘During this crisis, many workers have lost or will lose their livelihoods. When it began, SOS contacted LFC to seek assurances that all non-playing staff would be guaranteed to receive 100% wages. We were told this would happen and we made a statement. This was and continues to be our priority.’
‘Many of our members and the committee have raised concerns that the club intend to use taxpayers’ money to pay staff. We can all agree this is wrong, but again for SOS the prerogative is protecting jobs. It is the club who make the decision on how to pay their staff and they are the ones who need to answer why, if they decide to furlough.’
‘Our belief is that no million-pound plus profit-making organisation should be relying on taxpayer subsidies in times of crisis, yet football as a money-making industry has been singled out. It is an easy target for the authorities. We are contacting the club now and asking them to explain their position and reasoning. We will report back as soon as we hear back.’
‘SOS have been working tirelessly in our communities over the past couple of weeks delivering food bags to those most in need and being here for people. Where were the journalists then looking for quotes?’
Quotes via Goal