Mike Ashley Becomes First Premier League Owner To Stop Paying Staff
Newcastle United chief Mike Ashley has become the first Premier League owner to stop paying staff.
The coaching staff and players, who collectively earn £100 million, remain on full pay for now, but most of the general workforce are out of work amid the coronavirus outbreak which threatens to cause a financial crisis, according to BBC.
They include staff from the club's charity arm, the Newcastle United Foundation.
Managing director Lee Charnley sent an email to staff telling them they would need to apply for the government's coronavirus job retention scheme.
This would allow them to claim back 80 per cent of their wages, to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The move includes academy coaches and scouts, though players and first teach coaches will continue to be paid.
Writing for Toon fan site 'The Mag', Dean Wilkins said: "I didn't think it was possible to feel more ashamed to be a Newcastle United fan but this has brought an unprecedented low.
"I have become well used to embarrassing scenes on the pitch. However, to see what has been done by Mike Ashley off the pitch isn't just embarrassing, it is scandalous.
"A billionaire who owns a football club that in the end didn't spend around £28m of the transfer funds Lee Charnley said were available for this current season, yet instantly pulls the plug for paying normal staff's wages, leaving them relying on the government to pay up to 80% of their usual pay."