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.

By Dave Seddon
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%.

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.

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