‘Majority at our level need furlough scheme’ says Bradford City’s Stuart McCall

Bradford City manager Stuart McCall says he hopes football clubs that do not need it will not exploit the Government’s furlough scheme, but says it is essential for clubs at their level.

The Bantams have used the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough staff and players. Under it, the Government will cover 80 per cent of their wages while they are put on leave, keeping their jobs. Businesses are not obliged to, but Bradford will pay the remaining 20 per cent.

Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday have done likewise with their non-playing staff and in the case of League One, Doncaster, players.

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York City have furloughed all employees and Hull City have done it to the majority of their non-playing staff. The scheme only covers up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per individual, so the Tigers have promised to ensure anyone falling foul of that will still receive their 80 per cent, while York chairman Jason MacGill has said he will pay 80 per cent of wages to any staff who do not return to work when funding from the scheme ceases.

Stuart McCall: ‘Hopefully, everyone has a conscience,’ says the Bantams manager.

For many if not all of these clubs, using the scheme has been necessary to guard against them going bust with football indefinitely suspended, cutting off vital revenue. There has, however, been criticism of Tottenham, Newcastle and Liverpool using it, too, though the Anfield club went back on their decision.

“It’s a good call to protect jobs,” said McCall of the furlough scheme. “The majority at our level need to do it.

“I can see the argument with Premier League clubs, although they’ve obviously got bigger outgoings. It’s all in proportion.

“You don’t want to see anyone taking advantage of this furlough scheme. Hopefully, everyone has got a conscience. But it’s reasonable to accept that clubs in the lower divisions will be doing it.”

The Football League have set up a short-term relief fund for its clubs and while welcome, the Bantams are only expected to receive £164,200 initially, with the opportunity to borrow up to another £120,000 as an interest-free loan.

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