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Carragher blasts Liverpool's coronavirus policy as nonplaying staff on leave

Craig Burley weighs the pros and cons of the Premier League following Belgium's suit and voiding the season.

Jamie Carragher has criticised former club Liverpool after they announced some nonplaying staff would be placed on temporary leave during the coronavirus crisis. 

Staff affected will receive 80% of their salary through the government's job retention scheme; something that has already happened at Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich as Premier League clubs count the cost of the virus. Liverpool said they will top up the remaining 20%.

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The Premier League leaders announced in February that they made a pre-tax profit of £42 million and increased turnover to £533m. They spent £43m on agents' fees last year.

Following their decision to take advantage of the government's furlough scheme, Carragher, who played for the club between 1996-2013, wrote on Twitter: "Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was reduced to tears by video footage of people singing You'll Never Walk Alone to medical staff in a hospital with patients being treated during the pandemic, and the club have said the situation regarding nonplaying staff is "ongoing."

A Liverpool statement read: "Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club -- on and off the pitch -- with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis.

"There is ongoing active engagement about the topic of salary deductions during the period matches are not being played to schedule. These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing."

Britain's health minister, Matt Hancock, said on Thursday that Premier League players need to take a pay cut and "play their part" during the pandemic. His comments came after intense public pressure to accept pay deferrals in the wake of Tottenham and Newcastle furloughing nonplaying staff, at the same time as maintaining player wages at their usual level.

Premier League players are in discussions over a 30% pay cut to their salaries, with the league suspended indefinitely, but Danny Rose, on loan to Newcastle from Spurs, said he didn't appreciate those outside of football weighing in on how those cuts would happen.

"We sort of feel that our backs are against the wall," Rose told the BBC. "Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting.

"I've been on the phone to [Liverpool captain] Jordan Henderson and he's working so hard to come up with something.

"It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money. I found that so bizarre."

Meanwhile, Burnley club chairman Mike Garlick said on Saturday that they could run out of money by August if the season does not resume by then.

In a statement on their website Burnley said they stood to lose up to £50 million in revenue if the Premier League was not completed.

"The fact of the matter is if we don't finish this season and there isn't a clear start date for next season we as a club will run out of money by August, that's a fact," Garlick told Sky Sports. "I can't speak for other clubs.

"That's why we are very, very determined that when it's safe to do so we really do want to finish this season. Finishing the season is the only real outcome for all the Premier League clubs."

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