Wed, 22 March 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Hear from frontline clinicians on how to tackle the crisis facing emergency care Partner content
Sustaining Skills to Supercharge the UK Life Sciences Sector Partner content
Government must not allow UK life sciences to be levelled down Partner content
By Great Ormond Street Hospital
Press releases

Senior Tory MP condemns Premier League clubs' 'indefensible' decision to use taxpayer cash to pay staff

Senior Tory MP condemns Premier League clubs' 'indefensible' decision to use taxpayer cash to pay staff

Liverpool reversed their decision to apply to the Government's jobs scheme (PA)

2 min read

A senior Tory MP has hit out at the Premier League for defending the decision of some wealthy football clubs to use taxpayers' cash to pay staff wages.

Spurs and Newcastle are among those to take advantage of the Government's 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' to help pay the wages of their non-playing staff.

It sees the Treasury pick up the tab for 80% of the salary of workers kept on the payroll by their employees during the crisis.

Liverpool also signed up to the scheme, but performed a U-turn after an outcry by their supporters.

Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, wrote to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters urging him to broker an agreement between clubs to change their approach. 

In response he said: “The furlough scheme announced by government is meant for the whole economy, including many enterprises which might be regarded as providing entertainment or otherwise dependent on elite talent.

“We do agree that restraint needs to be shown by all and we and our clubs are doing just that.

“Individual clubs will need to make these decisions based on their own forecast, as each club will have its own position.”

Mr Knight said: “It is frankly laughable to think that clubs are showing restraint on use of government money to pay non-playing staff and flies in the face of public opinion. 

“Liverpool has listened to fans, done the right thing and changed its mind. It is time for the Premier League to stop defending the indefensible. 

“They should be working out a way to carry on paying the wages of club staff without resorting to taking money from the government scheme.”

Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said high-earning Premier League stars should "take a pay cut" while football is put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back, insisting footballers are an "easy target" and calling it unfair to single them out.

Speaking to Sky Sports he said: "For me it's unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help this situation.

"Discussions are taking place between players and clubs, what kind of contribution they'll make. It's not easy for anyone, and to be called out is not fair for me.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Alain Tolhurst - Belfast MP Says Northern Ireland “Addiction To Veto” Could Compromise Stormont Brake

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more