EXCLUSIVE: Man United SLASH overtime for their groundstaff, with insiders claiming the move will cut the salaries of the lowest-paid workers ‘in half’
- Club officials have decided to drastically reduce the number of extra hours
- Some of those affected by the cuts say that staff morale is at an ‘all-time low’
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Manchester United will slash overtime for ground staff, triggering accusations of ‘penny-pinching from those who need it most’.
Mail Sport understands club officials will drastically reduce extra hours for those who work on the Old Trafford pitch and United’s training grounds and youth facilities, which insiders claim will ‘chop the salaries of some lowest-paid staff in half’.
United, who posted record annual revenues of £648.4million a week ago, say they are modernising an outdated shift pattern to increase flexibility, match footballing needs and ensure staff get enough time off, while maximising productivity.
However, some of those affected say staff morale, at a time when the team have made their worst start to a season since the 1962-63 campaign, is at an ‘all-time low’.
It is thought those impacted, many of whom have decades of service, are being sent new contracts to sign.
Mail Sport understands that club officials have decided to drastically reduce the number of extra hours for those who work on the Old Trafford pitch and United’s training grounds and youth facilities
Some of those affected say staff morale at the Premier League giants is at an ‘all-time low’
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United’s problems continued on Wednesday as they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup
They claim they have been told they will lose their jobs should they not do so. Many of those impacted are on between £20,000 and £30,000 per year, which can be boosted by up to £15,000 with additional hours.
Some are now seeking second jobs — and one has crossed the divide to join City, though the club say that decision was made before changes were announced.
There is concern the ‘lost hours’ will be made up by new additions hired on less-expensive zero-hour contracts. Indeed, United have been advertising for ‘casual’ ground staff. However, the club say new arrivals are actually being brought in to ensure there is a ‘back-up pool’, allowing contracted staff to take time off.
The move is thought to have been overseen by Annie Hale, United’s human resources director, who followed chief operating officer Collette Roche from Manchester Airport. United say the changes, which followed a seven per cent pay rise, were made following a consultation.
They have also introduced bonuses, which will be made for two years for those impacted, and say they have received positive feedback.
Some, however, beg to differ. ‘It’s an absolute disgrace,’ said one insider. ‘We are talking about people who love Manchester United, the fabric of the club, who have been there for years. They work incredibly hard because, despite who is at the top, it is their club. Almost everyone relies on overtime because it is not a well-paid job.
‘Doing this — especially during a cost of living crisis — is not just heartless, it is reckless. They are penny-pinching from those who need it most, chopping salaries of some of the lowest-paid members of staff in half.
Some staff are seeking out second jobs, while one has crossed the divide to join Man City
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‘It is yet another example of how detached those in positions of power are from the rank and file. ‘The money they will save is peanuts in the grand scheme. When you look at what players earn, and how much they have spent on flops, it’s sickening.’
A United spokesperson said: ‘We recognise the significant role the green staff play in delivering one of the best playing surfaces in football. Our review is aimed at protecting the welfare of staff and providing greater flexibility.
‘We are seeking to modernise terms and ways of working with employees who work irregular hours around the demands of the football schedule.
‘It is good practice to review historic employment terms to ensure we remain competitive and reward staff appropriately, particularly those who spend anti-social hours working hard behind the scenes.’
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