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Tottenham Hotspur reverse furlough decision for non-playing staff

LONDON (Agencies): Tottenham have reversed their decision to use the government’s furlough scheme for some non-playing staff during the coronavirus crisis following criticism from supporters.

On 31 March, the club announced 550 employees would take a 20% pay cut in an attempt “to protect jobs”. But on Monday, a Spurs statement said non-playing staff will receive “100% of their pay for April and May”.

Only board members will now take salary reductions, the statement added. That includes chairman Daniel Levy, who earned £7m last year. Levy said: “We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club.”

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Club (THST) – which had on Friday urged the club to “do the right thing” and reverse the decision, saying “mass supporter opinion against these decisions had solidified” – thanked directors “for finding an alternative way forward”. “This is the first step, but a big step, in restoring relations between fans and the club,” the group added.

Spurs’ statement on Monday said: “With no clarity on when football might resume, and under what conditions, we shall continue to keep this under ongoing review. “We are acutely aware that many supporters were against the decision we made regarding furloughing staff who could not carry out their jobs from home.

“This once again underlines that we bear different pressures to other businesses, many of whom have and will continue to apply for support from the scheme as the government intended.” The Premier League club added they would continue to consult with stakeholders and the THST, “who share our desire to protect jobs”.

Spurs also announced they will become the first club in the Premier League to provide equipment at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for drive-through Covid-19 testing for NHS staff and their families. Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Norwich City are among the Premier League clubs to announce they will furlough some non-playing staff.

Leaders Liverpool have already reversed their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave and apologised to fans following a fierce backlash.

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