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stars slam reds furlough; Carra and Stan hit out at club - but fans group favour as non-playing staff retain 100% of wages.

Byline: IAN PARKER

FORMER players Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore turned on Liverpool after the Premier League leaders became the fifth top-flight club to announce they have furloughed some non-playing staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is understood around 200 staff, whose work is effectively idle during the Premier League suspension, have been affected by the decision.

Liverpool, who in February announced pre-tax profits of PS42million for 2018-19, will top up the public money received from the government to ensure the affected staff receive their full salaries.

Liverpool are following Tottenham, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Norwich in turning to the government's job retention scheme during the suspension of the Premier League, a decision which impressed neither Carragher nor Collymore.

Carragher retweeted the club's statement and wrote: "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" Collymore was even more forthright as he wrote: "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****** 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?" While their former heroes were unimpressed by the club's actions, a spokesperson for the Spirit of Shankly supporters' group said they were in favour of the move to ensure all employees received their full salaries.

"We contacted the club and made it clear that we expected all non-playing staff to be treated fairly throughout the duration of the suspension," the group said.

"The club gave an undertaking to do that which they've maintained throughout.

"The use of the furlough scheme maintains that commitment and it ensures that all lower-paid staff who run a variety of contracts will continue to receive 100 per cent of their wage.

"That's got to be seen as a positive."

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Author:IAN PARKER
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2020
Words:351
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