Alan Shearer has criticised Mike Ashley and all Premier League clubs that have decided to place their staff on furlough leave.
Our record goalscorer’s comments come 10 days after we became the first club in the top flight to tell non-playing staff to adhere to the government retention scheme.
Liverpool have since reversed their initial decision following a fan backlash, something that appears to have gone over Mike Ashley, Daniel Levy and Delia Smith’s heads.
Speaking to the BBC, Shearer said:
“It is a shame to see some Premier League clubs furloughing staff, when it seems avoidable.
“The scheme was not brought in to help companies who have made millions of pounds in the past few years.
“It was meant for smaller businesses who could go bust, and whose staff might not have a job to go back to otherwise.
“Liverpool have already reversed their decision over the weekend to furlough some non-playing staff, but there are other Premier League clubs who do not come out of this too well with the decision they have made and, so far, stuck with.”
“What is right for Norwich, or clubs further down the pyramid who are going to struggle to survive this crisis, is not necessarily right for the so-called bigger clubs.”
Shearer did praise what clubs have done for their communities, however, and even applauded some of the players actions in recent times, with our very own Danny Rose donating £19,000 to the NHS last week.
“Despite this, many clubs are doing great things in their local communities right now and they should be applauded for that.
“On top of that, we have seen the Premier League promise to advance £125m to the English Football League and National League and give £20m towards the NHS.
“This is a challenging time for everyone – but across the country, and in all leagues at every level, I am proud to see that football is playing its part in different ways.
“It does not surprise me because it has always been the case.
“The game is an easy target because of the amount of money involved in it but so much great work is done by players, managers and clubs in their local communities and beyond, which often goes unseen.”