BREAKING: staff furloughed at Sheffield United
Updated: Apr 11
Source confirms the move with Dem Blades
Sheffield United have taken the decision to furlough casual staff in the light of the Coronavirus crisis.
UPDATE: Bramall Lane officials have confirmed a number of casual and permanent staff have been furloughed, with their wages paid in full. However, the club has not ruled out using the Chancellor's Job Retention Scheme in the future, once officials have analysed the full financial effect of the crisis.
Letters have been sent to affected employees, with reports that a small number of full-time staff are also impacted by the club's implementation of Chancellor Rishi Sunak's furlough fund. It is also understood that the club will 'top up' staff wages to ensure each employee receives 100 per cent of his or her wage.
One source exclusively told Dem Blades: "I'm casual staff, and we were told at the same time as all staff. It is an official choice, we’ve received letters. The club haven't placed a statement yet, I expect they will pretty soon."
The news comes in the same week that other Premier League clubs - including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United - also took the measure of furloughing certain staff, although Liverpool have since rescinded the directive due to media and public backlash.
While many have been quick to criticise the club, there is currently no official word as to who has been placed on furlough, and our source offered a different perspective on the nature of the gig economy: "I’m unsure as to who is being furloughed. The casual staff are, which for a lot of us is good as we hold zero hour contracts, so otherwise we’d earn nothing. They could have easily done that but chose not to. As far as we are aware, there will be 100 per cent salary."
Football finance is notoriously fragile. With the Premier League and EFL suspended until April 30 at the earliest - and many believing football will not return until much later - clubs, like any other business, are under increasing pressure to find reserves of money. For Sheffield United, after the rapid rise from League One to the top flight and a substantial investment in playing staff, finances seemingly depend entirely on finishing the 2019/20 season, with TV prize money vital to the club's wellbeing, especially when funds still need to be found to purchase the ground and associated properties from Kevin McCabe and Sheffield United Limited.
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