Cobblers furlough 'significant number of staff' but club pledge to 'top up' salaries to '100 per cent'

Kelvin ThomasKelvin Thomas
Kelvin Thomas
Thomas vows to protect all staff during 'unprecedented times'

Cobblers have taken advantage of the government's job retention scheme by placing a 'significant number of staff' on furlough leave, both playing and non-playing, but all employees will continue to be paid their full salaries.

The job retention programme, announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this month, has been designed to support employees whose jobs have been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak for the next two months.

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Premier League clubs Tottenham and Newcastle are among those to use the scheme, and with the season currently on hold until at least April 30, chairman Kelvin Thomas confirmed the Cobblers have done likewise.

The government's programme pays 80 per cent of an employee's salary up to £2,500, however the Cobblers have vowed to fill the gap and 'top up' the remaining 20 per cent to ensure all staff remain financially unaffected by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

"There's a lot of planning going on behind the scenes and we've looked at the various government programmes to see how that can help us and get us through this," said Thomas.

"The number one priority is to protect the football club and protect the staff so we have to be ready to make decisions that ensure all of our staff, from the offices to the groundsmen to cantering to the players and the coaches, are looked after.

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"All the staff, from top to bottom, we have to make sure that the decisions we take now will protect their future and the club's future.

"We're obviously going to participate in the government's job retention scheme because that's what it's there for - to get through a period of no income which we're in right now.

"But we've made a commitment that the staff and the players will get 100 per cent so we'll basically top up their salaries to make sure they're not financially impacted by this in the short-term.

"That means players and staff won't be affected and they'll continue to be paid."

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Cobblers CEO James Whiting echoed those sentiments, adding: "We've taken advantage of the government's job retention scheme and we do now have a significant number of furloughed employees at the club.

"That has reduced some of the work that staff are doing from home but we're keeping in regular contact with staff and we have regular conference calls with everybody to check in and make sure they're all doing well.

"It's unprecedented times but we're all in it together."

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