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Some Premier League clubs could go out of business, CEO warns



Some Premier League clubs could go out of business, CEO warns


Chief Executive Officer of the English Premier League, Richard Masters has warned that some clubs in the elite league maybe going out of business as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated.

Masters stated this while defending the decision of some clubs to furlough their staff amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Masters said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some premier league clubs that could go out of business and defended the decision of some clubs to lay off their non-playing staff.

A lot of Premier League clubs have come under attack for the decision to use the government furlough scheme which allows the taxpayers to account for 80 percent of their non-playing staff salary.

There was an outcry when League leaders, Liverpool, became the first top club to furlough their employees, but the club CEO, Peter Moore, said the club took the wrong decision as they reversed the decision on Monday.

However, Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich have all applied to use the government’s furlough scheme, while other clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United, have announced they will not use the scheme and pay their employees in full.

In a letter sent to the select committee of the department of culture, media and sport on Tuesday, Masters defended Premier League sides using the scheme, saying that clubs going out of business is a “very real threat.”

“It is important to recognise that these decisions need to be taken with the short, medium and long term all in mind. Not only is our industry facing losses now, but to be realistic, we must also base our plans on full recovery being some distance away,” Masters wrote.

“Ultimately, the very heavy losses that we face will have to be dealt with or else clubs and other enterprises who depend on football for income will go out of business. We do not say this lightly, or to justify clubs’ decisions; it is a very real threat.”

Despite the outcry against teams and their wealthy owners using public money, Masters continued by saying that the government’s furlough scheme is meant for all businesses.

“The furlough scheme announced by the government is meant for the whole economy, including many enterprises which might be regarded as providing entertainment or otherwise dependent on elite talent,” he wrote.

“We do agree with you that restraint needs to be shown by all and we and our clubs are doing just that. Individual clubs will need to make these decisions based on their own forecasts as each club will have its own unique position.”

However the chair of the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport committee, Julian Knight, dismissed Masters’ concerns and said criticism of clubs using the furlough scheme are justified.

“It is frankly laughable to think that clubs are showing restraint on the use of government money to pay non-playing staff and flies in the face of public opinion,” he said.

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