Now even Bournemouth apologise and say they have listened to fans – Has Mike Ashley any scruples?
Bournemouth have joined Liverpool and Tottenham in doing the decent thing, eventually.
The south coast club putting out an official statement (see below) reversing the decision announced 13 days ago.
Two days after Mike Ashley and Newcastle United furloughed non-playing staff and told them they had to rely on the government/taxpayers to fund their wages (80% of normal wage up to £2,500 a month), Bournemouth did the same on 1 April.
Two weeks ago Bournemouth stating: ‘…the club’s chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall have all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts. We have also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be temporarily furloughed, as a result of the ongoing pandemic.’
Now though, the Cherries have done a u-turn. admitting that they got it wrong after listening to their fans (and media, general public, politicians…).
As Liverpool and Tottenham have done their u-turns, Mike Ashley and Newcastle United now stand alone of major Premier League clubs owned by billionaires to be exploiting this taxpayer funded initiative.
Even Bournemouth have accepted it is the wrong thing to do and Mike Ashley hands out more free season tickets these days than the Cherries have paying fans!
Newcastle United and Norwich City are now the only two PL outfits exploiting the government’s job retention scheme and if any PL club could be excused for doing this it is the Canaries, their owners are the millionaire paupers amongst those who own Premier League clubs and are guaranteed relegation when/if football kicks off again.
So, will we now see Mike Ashley issuing his own apology and u-turn, saying he has listened to the Newcastle fans…?
If anybody needed further proof of why Newcastle United desperately need a change of ownership, this is it.
A statement from AFC Bournemouth board of directors – 14 April 2020:
‘The ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created huge uncertainty across the world.
We are rapidly coming to terms with the stark reality of what this virus means, both for the health of the global population and for business in all industries, who 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 Premier League season, meaning our revenue is depleted but our outgoings remain unaffected.
With this in mind, earlier this month we announced that a number of staff at AFC Bournemouth were being temporarily furloughed, and that we would utilise the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
These measures were not taken lightly, given the operational pressures placed on clubs in such uncertain times.
However well-placed our intentions were, we are aware of criticisms levelled at Premier League clubs applying for this scheme.
We have listened to our supporters and have reversed our decision to furlough these employees.
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.
Our continuing thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this virus.’
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