Bournemouth have become the latest Premier League club to reverse their decision to furlough members of their non-playing staff.
In a statement, the south-coast club said they were “aware of criticisms of Premier League clubs applying for this scheme” during the suspension to the football season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have listened to our supporters and have reversed our decision to furlough these employees,” the statement from the club’s board of directors added.
Liverpool and Tottenham have also reversed their initial moves to make use of the government’s job retention scheme, which covers the cost of 80% of the salaries of furloughed staff, up to £2,500 per month for each employee.
Bournemouth’s statement added that the club had made the decision despite the financial implications of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
“We are rapidly coming to terms with the stark reality of what this virus means, for the health of the global population and for business in all industries [that] are being affected by its financial implications.
“Football is undoubtedly one of those industries. As things stand there is no return date for the 2019-20 season, meaning our revenue is depleted but our outgoings remain unaffected.”
Bournemouth’s move leaves Newcastle and Norwich as the only Premier League clubs continuing to place some members of their non-playing staff on furlough through the scheme. Sheffield United have furloughed staff but are continuing to pay them in full.
The Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, chief executive Neill Blake, first-team technical director Richard Hughes and assistant Jason Tindall have already taken “significant, voluntary pay cuts” as they look to keep costs down.
“We, as a board of directors, will ensure that the club can continue to operate while the season is suspended, and we will not be applying for the coronavirus job retention scheme,” the statement concluded. “Our continuing thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this virus.”
The Cherries are playing in the top flight for the fifth successive season, after earning promotion in 2014-15. Howe’s side were 18th in the Premier League table when the season was suspended, behind Watford and West Ham on goal difference and at risk of relegation.