Newcastle are first Premier League club to put staff on furlough

NEWCASTLE UNITED have become the first Premier League club to put their staff on furlough, meaning taxpayers will fund 80% of their wages.

Managing Director Lee Charnley sent an email to non first-team staff today notifying them of the club's intention to put them on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which enables employers to claim 80% of an employee's wage up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

It is understood that Academy personnel, scouts and Foundation charity staff are affected, although not first-team players or staff.

Charnley explained that the move was needed in order to safeguard the club’s future. Bolton and MK Dons (League One), Forest Green (League Two) and Hartlepool (National League) have put staff on furlough, but Newcastle are the first club in the Premier League to do so.

Furlough basically means that staff are retained but not paid by their employer. Last week, Leeds United's players, coaching staff and senior management volunteered to take a wage deferral for the “foreseeable future” so the club's 272 full-time employees could continue to be paid.

According to the Global Sports Salaries Survey 2019, Newcastle paid their first-team players an average of £40,120 a week.

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