Leeds United are one of several Premier League clubs who have been slammed by an MP over their use of the furlough scheme.
The furlough scheme was set up to help businesses pay their workers 80% of their original wage while not working through the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme was not set up to help football clubs, though they were eligible to use it and Julian Knight MP, head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has heavily criticised the Premier League and the clubs that used the scheme.
Knight is quoted by The Sun as saying, “The Premier League clearly has questions to answer and should be held accountable.
“What’s not certain is how much individual clubs claimed, nor how much more was paid out.
“But figures from HMRC clearly show £13m was claimed in furlough by Premier League and Championship clubs in just four months.
“At that time, we on the Committee called out clubs for using Government money to pay their non-playing staff while at the same time paying top wages to star players.”
A new ITV investigation shared how Leeds claimed between £100,000 and £250,000 in December alone with Newcastle United also claiming a similar amount of money that month.
The investigation claimed that clubs in English football’s top two leagues claimed a total of at least £13m in the first four months of the government’s job retention scheme.
This is a lot of money and it doesn’t look good for either Leeds or Newcastle as other Premier League sides who initially used the furlough scheme backed down after criticism.
Liverpool and Tottenham were two such clubs and you can understand why they did this, super clubs shouldn’t need extra money from the government to pay their staff.
It is no doubt trickier for a club like Leeds to manage, despite a financially beneficial promotion and outside investment.
Businesses are doing whatever they can to survive at the moment and if that means making use of a government scheme so be it.
However, to be lumped in with the famously frugal Mike Ashley really isn’t a good look for us.
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