Sunderland become latest EFL side to furlough players

Sunderland become latest club to furlough players and staff as financial crisis caused by coronavirus continues to tear through EFL

  • Sunderland have placed all of its first-team and academy players on furlough
  • Backroom staff including manager Phil Parkinson have also been furloughed
  • The club said they remain committed to ensure all employees are paid in full 
  • No one will be asked to take a wage reduction or deferral during the period 

Sunderland have placed its first-team players, contracted academy players and backroom staff on furlough leave due to coronavirus.

The club said they had no intention of asking any players or staff to take a wage cut or deferral and remain committed to ensure all employees are paid in full. 

Manager Phil Parkinson and a small number of staff will continue to work from home. 

Sunderland have placed all players, contracted academy on backroom staff on furlough leave

The club said they had no intention of asking any players or staff to take a wage cut or deferral

Manager Phil Parkinson and a small number of select staff will continue to work from home 

When an employee is placed on furlough they are temporarily put on a leave of absence and not paid, although they remain on the payroll, meaning that they do not lose their job.

This could be because there is no work for these employees, or that the company is not able to afford to pay them, because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

In the United Kingdom, the Government is offering to pay 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, until they are able to resume their job full time. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last for at least three months from March 1.

Sunderland confirmed the news in a statement on their website saying their priority remains the ‘health and wellbeing of its staff, supporters and local community during this unprecedented period.’ 

The club had already placed some of its non-playing staff on furlough in March, a decision that rivals Newcastle United also took last week.

Other Premier League clubs including Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich also took the financial decision to apply to the government’s job retention scheme.  

Liverpool made the same move at the weekend but changed minds yesterday with chairman Peter Moore saying they had ‘come to the wrong conclusion’.

The Black Cats missed out on promotion to the Championship after being defeated by Charlton in last season’s League One play-off final.

Parkinson’s side were seventh in the table, level on points with sixth-placed Peterborough United when football was suspended.

The club’s highest paid player was Aiden McGeady until the Republic of Ireland international made a deadline day loan switch to Charlton in January.

Other League One clubs have taken the decision to furlough players including Coventry and Doncaster Rovers.

However, Sunderland co-owner Charlie Methaven recently gave a positive update on the club’s finances. 

He told Sunderland Live: ‘It’s doubly satisfying that during this crisis the club has put many of its staff on furlough leave, but are in a strong enough position to be able to top up the government’s pay to make sure that all of our employees are paid in full.  

‘That’s not something that’s happening at many EFL clubs. The staff deserve that for all their hard work during those difficult early months. 

‘The reason the club is in a position to be able to do that is because it is – I would say – in the strongest financial position of any club in the EFL.’ 

The club’s co-owner Charlie Methaven (left) recently gave a positive update on club finances

Parkinson’s side were seventh in the League One table when football was suspended in March

Aiden McGeady was the club’s highest earner before going on loan to Charlton in January

SUNDERLAND STATEMENT IN FULL 

 Sunderland AFC can today confirm that its first-team players, contracted academy players and backroom staff have recently been placed on furlough leave due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the FA, the Premier League and the EFL announced they would be collectively postponing their competitions until such time that it is safe for them to resume.

At this moment in time, SAFC has no intention to ask any players or staff to take a wage reduction or deferral on their salary, and the club remains fully committed to ensuring all employees are paid in full.

A small number of staff, including manager Phil Parkinson, continue to work from home, and the club’s priority remains the health and wellbeing of its players, staff, supporters and local community during this unprecedented period.




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