Manchester City became the first Premier League club to confirm that its non-playing staff will not be furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic after league-leader Liverpool was heavily criticised for its handling of the crisis.
A number of Liverpool's non-playing staff were suspended on furlough, it was announced on Saturday, leaving them free to claim 80 per cent of their wages from the United Kingdom government while the club tops up any shortfall in their pay.
Tottenham, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth took similar action by utilising the government's furlough scheme, prompting widespread criticism of wealthy clubs opting to put further strain on public funds.
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy was among those to slam the quintet, describing their actions as "grotesque".
City took a divergent move on Sunday, with a club spokesperson saying in a statement: "We can confirm, following a decision by the chairman and board last week, that Manchester City will not be utilising the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (government funded furloughing).
"We remain determined to protect our people, their jobs and our business, whilst at the same time doing what we can to support our wider community at this most challenging time for everybody."
City is second in the Premier League table, 25 points behind Liverpool, and the league announced on Friday that play will not resume in early May as had been planned.
Premier League clubs met on Friday to discuss the prospects for completing the season, and the possibility of players taking a 30 per cent wage reduction was also discussed.
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