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reds furlough non-playing staff; Club uses government scheme to help staff retain full wages.

Byline: IAN DOYLE Chief LFC Writer ian.doyle@reachplccom @IANDOYLESPORT

ILIVERPOOL have taken the decision to furlough non-playing club staff in response to the coronavirus outbreak - but those affected will continue to be paid 100% of their salary.

LThe Reds have issued an update detailing how they are dealing with the ongoing pandemic, which has seen the Premier League suspended indefinitely having initially been put on hold on March 13.

Liverpool had already announced last month they were paying the matchday and nonmatchday staff for the remaining postponed four home Premier League games this season, an amount which is believed to total PS1million.

And they have now confirmed further action has been taken with around a half of the club's staff being furloughed under the government furlough scheme. They will receive 80% of their wage from the government - up to a maximum of PS2,500 per month - with Liverpool topping up the rest. Even before the decision was made, Liverpool's players and senior staff have been in talks for the past couple of weeks with the club hierarchy over agreeing a pay cut during the crisis, which could now be made uniform across the Premier League with all clubs in discussions with the PFA over a potential temporary 30% reduction in salary.

The Liverpool statement, released on Saturday afternoon, also welcomed the Premier League's commitment to resume the current season when it is safe to do so, with Jurgen Klopp's side a record 25 points clear at the summit.

It read: "While our priority from the outset has been to focus primarily on the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, supporters and local community, the club has also committed to playing as full a role as possible in the Premier League's ongoing response to the crisis.

"As such, we welcome yesterday's announcement from the Premier League which confirmed the provision of support for the National Health Service, the EFL and National League and a commitment for the 2019/20 season to resume only when it is safe to do so.

"At club level, various other measures have been taken to protect the best interests of the club and our staff in both the short term and the long term, with all such actions being undertaken following various internal discussions.

"In some instances, further measures will follow only once all parties are in a position to proceed and updates will be provided as and when this is the case.

"Liverpool have also placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough. The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100% of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged."

The statement continued: "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."

Liverpool have also revealed all club staff are being given guidance on mental health and wellbeing from sports psychologist Lee Richardson and healthy eating advice from head of nutrition Mona Nemmer.

The club has also launched 'LFC Connect', a social isolation initiative aimed at telephone contacting the most vulnerable in the local communities.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN DOYLE Chief LFC Writer ian.doyle@reachplccom @IANDOYLESPORT
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2020
Words:578
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