With Newcastle United’s announcement the other day that they would be furloughing staff and placing them on the Government’s previously announced scheme, unfortunately today, Tottenham Hotspur confirmed that they had followed suit for non-playing staff.
Message from the Chairman.
— Tottenham Hotspur (at 🏡) (@SpursOfficial) March 31, 2020
Earlier this morning Chairman Daniel Levy released a statement confirming the measure and announced that he would be taking a 20% pay cut along with other Directors, but it’s certainly left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans who feel that rather than leaning on the taxpayer here, the club should be taking a leadership role given the riches in the game and should’ve come up with alternative plans to protect normal staff – not least announcing a reduction in player wages.
The full statement can be read on the above link, and whilst it’s a strong message given the strange and uncertain times we find ourselves in at the moment, for me at least, it’s totally misjudged.
To Furlough Or Not To Furlough...That Is The Question?
Understandable In The Circumstances
Ridiculous Decision Without Similar From Playing Staff
The focus on business and industry and the big play about ‘transfers’ with the line ‘people need to wake up to the enormity of what is happening around us’, I’m sorry, but it reads as ‘me, me, me’.
“We may be the eighth largest Club in the world by revenue according to the Deloitte survey but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries.”
Reaction on social media was certainly mixed, but there was a very common trend.
Instead of axing non – playing staff, saving c£20-30k a YEAR per employee, why not just reduce player salaries or furlough them and save 100's thousands a WEEK
— Charlie (@gills2927363) March 31, 2020
Players should be subsiding their wages, not the non-playing staff. Look at Barcelona and how they’ve handled their financial situation.
— Manny (@Mannythfc) March 31, 2020
'We maybe the eighth largest Club in the world by revenue according to the Deloitte survey but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries.'
This is the most important BIT
our chariman isn't going to spend money again , corona is the excuse now
— SpursSignSomeoneGoodInSummer (@SpursTransfer10) March 31, 2020
Multi millionaire directors and players could step up and make the money up
— Shaun Lewis (@ShaunLewis17) March 31, 2020
Football is embarrassing. Ridiculous using the government when they don't need to and the players aren't told to cover the costs and still get insane wages.
— Jonathan McCready (@JDJMcCread) March 31, 2020
Why not cut the players wages to help fund the non playing employees, actually a joke
— ⚪️ (@thfcmourinho_) March 31, 2020
Shouldn't it be the playing staff having reduced money, so the non playing staff can live normal lives… The players won't be too affected taking the hit 👍
— skinheadTHFC (@cupid5tunts) March 31, 2020
Come on Shane how are they players and directors going to survive with just their millions in the bank for the next few months, obviously the cleaners and bar workers are first to be hit
— Graemello85 (@graemello85) March 31, 2020
horrendous decision I'm ashamed of my club I support…. you should be supporting the non playing staff wages staff via players and executive staff salaries
— BENJI THORPE (@benji_4pence) March 31, 2020
Would have been a great gesture from the players to take the cut so the ordinary Joe doesn't lose out. Barca springs to mind.
— driver COYS!! (@59gringo) March 31, 2020
This is disgusting. I’m hoping the players haven’t been asked? And if they haven’t they should’ve been! The world of Football the one industry where the staff can potentially really be looked after and this is what happens. This won’t go down well
— Lewis Manners (@llewi01) March 31, 2020
Ashamed to be Spurs today, and i don't care how you spin it, Lewis and Enic can afford 2 months
— Dan (@DanhTHFC) March 31, 2020
This makes me angry. As a club Spurs should be looking after those who can’t afford to get by and maybe stop the exorbitant salaries of the players. The least they should do would be to organise for the players to assist by foregoing some of their salary to pay the shortfall?
— Mackers (@mackers75) March 31, 2020
I am embarrassed and ashamed that my club, which can pay its chairman £3m/y with a £4m bonus for missing the stadium deadline and can pay players upwards of £75m/y, is raiding the government coffers to pay non-playing staff.
The club took in HALF A BILLION EUROS revenue in 2019.
— ⚫ Martin Greenaway (@mgreenaw) March 31, 2020
Its the club that does not live in the real world and lives in a bubble. Players earns on average 50k a week why cannot they take a 50% pay cut and that would pay all the non playing staffs wages there would be no need to to drop a minimum wage worker by 20%. Disgraceful
— Carl (@CarlCOYS) March 31, 2020
Now I don’t believe that clubs can officially reduce the wages of playing side staff without discussions with the Professional Footballers’ Association, but the playing staff can certainly offer and I would imagine it would be a good idea for them to do so, otherwise, I can well imagine this is going to turn ugly and at the best of times, footballers often don’t have a great public image, and continuing in ‘their bubble’ wouldn’t be wise.
Some will agree this move protects non-playing staff and it does, but purely from a PR perspective, I don’t believe we should’ve announced this step until we could marry it with agreement on the playing side as the lack of balance was always going to cause outrage here.