Preston North End continuing to fully pay most staff during shutdown

Preston North End are understood to be fully paying the vast majority of their staff during football’s shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 6:00 am

Only a small number of workers – believed to be in single figures – have been furloughed.

They are staff who because of the nature of their jobs, cannot work from home.

The Government’s furlough scheme pays 80% of their wage and North End are paying the other 20%.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

PNE’s Deepdale home

Players, coaches, office staff and the maintenance team are being paid as normal.

With the lounges in the Invincibles Pavilion being used by the NHS for training, that area needs cleaning and maintaining on a daily basis.

The Deepdale pitch and Springfields training ground are being tended to by the groundsman and his staff ready for the eventual return to action.

With the football season having been suspended on March 13, it is putting a big strain on clubs’ finances up and down the country.

North End last played a month ago against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale.

The season was suspended initially until April 4 and then to April 30.

Last Friday, the suspension became an indefinite, with the EFL and Premier League saying health was priority and football would only return when safe to do so.

There is a determination within the game to resume the season at some point and play it to a finish.

It could be well into the summer months that it gets started.

In the EFL there are nine games to be played yet, plus the play-offs.

They could be fitted into a fairly short timescale, with midweeks used.

There would inevitably be a later start to next season but that would be a small price to pay to get this one finished.

A growing number of clubs are turning to furlough to get through the financial implications of the shutdown.

Liverpool did so but then did a U-turn, with Tottenham and Newcastle among those to furlough non-playing staff.

Sunderland, pushing for promotion from League One, yesterday announced that all its first-team players, contracted academy players and backroom staff had been placed on furlough.

Morecambe, in League Two, have furloughed their non-playing staff.

North End’s players are continuing to maintain their fitness at home having been given programmes by fitness coach Tom Little.

When group training was initially stopped, a return date was pencilled in for this week.

But with the Government’s lockdown having come in since then, training has been postponed indefinitely.

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: “Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role.”

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.