Tottenham have been praised for showing ‘maturity and humility’ by the club’s supporters after finally reversing the decision to furlough non-playing staff amid the coronavirus crisis.
The north London side had announced an intention to utilise the government’s job retention scheme by furloughing members of the club’s non-playing staff, a decision which drew fierce criticism from supporters.
Following the backlash, chairman Daniel Levy has now reversed the decision with only the Spurs board members now taking pay cuts, an announcement confirming all non-playing staff will be paid in full for April and May.
The decision has been greeted positively by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, with the group releasing a statement praising the club’s ‘maturity and humility’ in reversing the unpopular decision and for finding an ‘alternative way forward’.
“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,” a statement on the THST website reads. “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.
“We’re delighted for the Club’s non-playing staff and we thank the Club’s Directors for finding an alternative way forward. This is the first step, but a big step, in restoring relations between fans and the Club.
“We should now focus on the range of other measures the Club is delivering to help the NHS combat the COVID-19 pandemic; measures that can go a long way to making us proud of our Club once more.
— Tottenham Hotspur (at ?) (@SpursOfficial) April 13, 2020
“Difficult days are ahead but, with everyone playing their part, we can come through the many challenges we are all facing.”
Levy apologised for any anxiety that had been caused by the decision and hopes to repair the damage to the club’s reputation by offering the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a location to provide NHS services.
The ground will offer a range of support services transferred from North Middlesex University Hospital from Tuesday – including pregnancy scans and antenatal clinics – in a bid to free up capacity at the hospital and ensure pregnant women are able to avoid the main hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The criticism the club has received over the last week has been felt 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,” Levy said in a statement.
“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.”