LONDON • Even as the coronavirus outbreak brings out the best in some football clubs, others have had to cut their losses.
English Premier League leaders Liverpool have committed to paying all match-day staff until at least April 30, with the English top flight suspended until then.
The Reds would have played Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Burnley at Anfield during this period, and match-day expenses are up to £250,000 (S$425,000) a game, with Liverpool therefore committing around £750,000 overall.
The Reds’ rivals Manchester United announced on Thursday that they will keep paying their casual staff even if the season’s remaining games are cancelled or played in empty stadiums because of the pandemic.
English football governing bodies said the current season could be extended indefinitely.
United said the payment would reduce the financial uncertainty facing its casual workforce and would be made to all match-day and non-match-day casual workers who have worked for the club in the past three months.
“We rely on our outstanding staff to deliver an exceptional service and experience to fans at Old Trafford,” executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.
“We understand that these are unprecedented circumstances and want to give them security whatever may happen regarding our remaining fixtures this season.”
Brighton, Crystal Palace and Wolves are some of the other English top-flight clubs who have also announced plans to keep paying casual workers despite the game being suspended.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s players and coaching staff became the first in Germany to accept pay cuts during the coronavirus crisis to support the club as revenues dry up due to halted matches.
“I am very proud of the boys. It is a clear signal. We stand together in good and bad times for Borussia,” the club’s sports director Max Eberl said on Thursday, a day after Germany’s national team players had offered €2.5 million (S$3.9 million) to help fight the virus.
Liverpool’s match-day spending for one Premier League game at Anfield.
“We are expecting revenue losses through games not being played, missing ticket and fan sales, possible TV revenue losses and a lack of sponsor money.”
The Bundesliga suspension is due to last until at least April 2 though few believe it will resume soon after that date.
In contrast, Swiss Super League club FC Sion reportedly dismissed nine players, including captain Xavier Kouassi and former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, after the players had refused to sign an agreement for a wage cut while the country’s league was halted indefinitely.
The SDA news agency and RSI television network both reported the dismissals, which also included Johan Djourou, Pajtim Kasami, Ermir Lenjani, Seydou Doumbia, Mickael Facchinetti, Christian Zock and Birama Ndoye. The club did not confirm the dismissals and could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Swiss league was stopped on March 1.
In Brazil, football clubs have found other ways to join the fight against the coronavirus by offering their stadiums and training grounds to the authorities.
Bahia, Athletico Paranaense and Sao Paulo are among those who made the offer on Thursday.
Many Brazilian clubs have also used their social media accounts to pass on public health information to fans. The South American nation has so far confirmed 647 cases of the coronavirus, with seven deaths.