Jamie Carragher: Liverpool have lost respect by using furlough

FORMER Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher says the club have lost “respect and goodwill” by becoming the fifth Premier League side to ask for taxpayer money to fund their staff wages.

On Saturday, the Reds announced that “some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension” had been placed on the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, meaning the state will pay 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

TGG understands this involves about 200 non-playing staff, with the club making up the remaining 20% of their wages where necessary. Newcastle, Tottenham, Norwich and Bournemouth placed staff on furlough last week.

On February 27th, Liverpool announced pre-tax profits of £42m and turnover of £533m for the 2018/19 financial year.

Carragher tweeted: “Jürgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic (and) senior players heavily involved in Premier League players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost – poor this, LFC.”

The Premier League has asked players to take a pay cut of 30%, arguing that clubs face a loss of more than £750m if the season does not resume and broadcasters demand refunds on games.

On Saturday, the PFA released a statement saying it wanted to continue discussions with the Premier League, but that the proposed wage cuts would actually hurt the NHS.

“All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times,” the PFA said.

“The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are especially critical at this time.

“Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

“The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS?”

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has contacted his fellow Premier League captains in an effort to organise a coronavirus fund that will raise millions for the NHS.

Klopp and a senior players’ committee comprising Henderson, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum have discussed pay reductions with the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, although nothing has been decided yet.

The Reds said they had organised a number of support measures for staff, including "guidance from the club’s sports psychologist" (Lee Richardson) on mental health and wellbeing, and "healthy eating advice" from the club’s head of nutrition, Mona Nemmer (pictured above).

The club has also launched a new learning and development platform "providing specific help with adapting to working from home and dealing with remote working".

READ MORE: Liverpool staff profiles

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