Norwich City executive Zoe Ward has said that the Canaries have used the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough their staff to protect them. The top tier club were amongst many to undertake the decision to use the said scheme although a few sides have reversed their decision.
Newcastle United were the first club to use the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with Norwich City, Tottenham and then Liverpool following suit. Reports indicated that a myriad of other clubs were all ready to do the same, including Manchester United, but the reaction to Liverpool using it made many change their minds. That saw the Reds and Spurs reverse their decision to use the scheme but both the Canaries and Magpies have stuck to their decision.
While their decision to do so has come under serious criticism, Norwich City executive Zoe Ward went onto admit that the club used the scheme to protect their employees. She further added that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused mayhem across the world and nobody knows when the situation might end and how much of a financial impact it might cause on Norwich City.
“We’ve taken this decision to protect our staff, not only now but in the future. We don’t know where this is going, what will happen and what the impacts will be. We wouldn’t want to have a situation where we don’t furlough now and then six to 12 months down the line we’re having to look to make staff redundant,” Zoe Ward told the Athletic.
The Canaries are in dire financial straits with the Athletic reporting that they’re set to lose anywhere between £10 million and £25 million with that being a realistic calculation. That would also mean a potential loss of £35 million including their matchday income loss (£9 million deficit) if games are played behind closed doors. However, Norwich Sporting director Stuart Webber went onto admit that their lack of spending in the summer is the only thing that is sustaining them now.
“We get criticised for (not spending money) but at the moment, thank god we have done it like that because it means we’re not having sleepless nights thinking how are we going to pay April’s wages? May’s wages? June’s wages? We can take a bit more time because of our financial planning plus the collaborations and discipline we show to make sure we live within our means” Webber told The Athletic.
“We can now get the benefits of that because we’re not a club under huge pressure, but we know hard days are coming for us and everyone. I haven’t given any thought to how other clubs are doing. We’ve got to protect our club and community first, and then we need to protect the wider game of football,” he added.