Coronavirus: Tottenham shamed into wage cut U-turn after fan fury

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Tottenham have performed a U-turn on the proposed wage cuts across non-playing staff at the club following widespread criticism.

Spurs announced plans to furlough 550 non-playing staff at the end of March amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and chairman Daniel Levy said players would likely follow suit.

However, a club statement released on Monday said last season’s Champions League finalists will not be going ahead with the proposed cuts.

It read: “In our last update we said we would keep our position under review, especially in the context of revised budgets and cost cutting. Having done so we have decided that all non-playing staff, whether full-time, casual or furloughed, will receive 100% of their pay for April and May. Only the board will take salary reductions.”

Levy, who earned £7 million last year according to the club’s financial accounts, added: “The criticism the club has received over the last week has been felt all the more keenly because of our track record of good works and our huge sense of responsibility to care for those that rely on us, particularly locally.

“It was never our intent, as custodians, to do anything other than put measures in place to protect jobs whilst the club sought to continue to operate in a self-sufficient manner during uncertain times.

“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 follow Liverpool, who last week abandoned plans to use UK government funds to pay the salaries of furloughed non-playing staff at Anfield after being subjected to similar criticism.

Spurs were urged in particular by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, who released a statement condemning the behaviour of the North London club.

“This is an unprecedented situation and no-one, including supporters’ organisations, will get everything right from the start,” the statement read.

“We have made this statement in good faith and remain willing to work with all parties for the best outcome. We still believe there is time for the board… to show they have listened and to do the right thing.”

Following Spurs’ decision, THST released a statement applauding their change of heart.

It read: “It takes maturity and humility to reverse such a contentious and public decision and we’re pleased that, rather than doubling down, the club’s board has listened to the fans on this occasion and ultimately done the right thing. As we said in our statement, no organisation is going to get everything right in these unprecedented circumstances and the eventual outcome is what matters.”

Meanwhile, the club also announced that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has become a coronavirus testing centre — the first Premier League ground to do so.

The statement added: “Equipment has now been installed in our stadium to operate drive-through COVID-19 testing and swabbing for NHS staff, families and their dependants.”

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