Tottenham have followed Newcastle’s lead and become the second Premier League club to furlough staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has begun to show, and Spurs are reacting by giving non-playing staff a 20 per cent pay cut.
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In a statement, the club’s chairman Daniel Levy announced 550 employees will be paid 80 per cent of their salary for the next two months, with the Government’s furlough scheme utilised.
“The Club’s operations have effectively ceased, some of our fans will have lost their jobs and most will be worried about their future,” read Levy’s statement.
“Our sponsors will be concerned about their businesses and our media partners have no certainty when we may play games again or whether we will be allowed to play in front of our fans. In the meantime, the Club has an annual cost base running into hundreds of millions of pounds.
“We have seen some of the biggest clubs in the world such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus take steps to reduce their costs.
“Yesterday, having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision – in order to protect jobs – to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20% utilising, where appropriate, the Government’s furlough scheme.
“We shall continue to review this position.”
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Levy also urged players and coaches to ‘do their bit for the football ecosystem’ amid the ongoing pandemic.
The 20 per cent pay cut will affect Levy himself as a member of Tottenham’s non-playing staff, and it comes following confirmation he remains the highest-earning club executive in the Premier League.
Accounts covering 2018/19 showed Levy earned a £4million salary and was also paid a £3m bonus for completion of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – despite it being delivered late and over-budget.
Levy added in his statement: “When I read or hear stories about player transfers this summer like nothing has happened, people need to wake up to the enormity of what is happening around us.
“With over 786,000 infected, nearly 38,000 deaths and large segments of the world in lockdown we need to realise that football cannot operate in a bubble.
“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.
“I have no doubt we will get through this crisis but life will take some time to get back to normal. I hope we will never take for granted so many basic things such as getting off the train at Seven Sisters, walking along Tottenham High Road, entering our stadium with our family and friends, and buying a beer and pie ahead of watching Spurs play at home.
“Many families will have lost loved ones, many businesses will have been destroyed, millions of jobs lost and many Clubs whether big or small may struggle to exist.
“It is incumbent on me as Chairman to ensure we do everything we can to protect our employees, our fans, our partners, our Club for future generations – and equally important – our wider community where we have such an immense sense of responsibility.
“I wish everyone good health, a speedy return to normal life and watching Spurs at home in front of our fans. Stay safe.”