Newcastle ‘take key members of staff OFF furlough’ as they gear up for Premier League return with training expected to resume next week
- Newcastle have taken head of recruitment and academy bosses off furlough
- The move is a sign the club are readying themselves for a Premier League return
- Newcastle’s first-team players are expected to return to training next week
- Government and Premier League will decide if current season will be completed
Newcastle have reportedly taken their key members of staff off the Government’s furlough scheme in preparation for a return to action.
First-team players are expected to return to training next week, providing the Government’s formal review and Premier League shareholders’ meeting reach an agreement to finish the current campaign.
Newcastle players have been keeping fit in isolation since the lockdown but all of their squad are now back in the country and are readying themselves for a return to their Darsley Park facilities.
Newcastle have taken their key staff off furlough ahead of potential Premier League return
All Newcastle players are back in the country and could return to training next week
Academy head of coaching Ben Dawson is one member of staff to be taken off furlough
According to The Times, the club’s head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, was one of the first key members of staff to be taken off furlough, having been removed last week.
WHAT DOES FURLOUGH MEAN?
When an employee is placed on furlough they are temporarily put on a leave of absence and not paid, although they remain on the payroll, meaning that they do not lose their job.
This could be because there is no work for these employees, or that the company is not able to afford to pay them, because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
In the United Kingdom, the Government is offering to pay 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, until they are able to resume their job full time
Ben Dawson, the academy’s head of coaching and the academy manager, Joe Joyce, are also reported to have returned to full-time work.
The Magpies were the first Premier League to put their non-playing staff on furlough at the end of March, although until now they have received 100 per cent of their wages.
Other members of staff will have to wait until Monday to find out whether or not they will be reduced to 80 per cent as part of the Government’s job retention scheme.
The move from Newcastle to take some of their staff off furlough is an indicator they are preparing themselves to finish the season, which has been suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A four-hour Premier League meeting on Friday reaffirmed that clubs are committed to completing the season.
It was agreed during the meeting that matches, when they are able to take place, will be held in up to 10 neutral grounds away from urban areas across the country with West Ham, Arsenal and Manchester City likely options.
Premier League chiefs are determined to complete the 2019-20 season after postponement
Games will also almost certainly be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future as part of the league’s ‘Project Restart plan’, which is dependent on approval from the Government.
The Premier League have already sent out a restart schedule to clubs which includes details of their comeback timetable.
The schedule has earmarked May 18 as the date for players to be able to be back in full training and June 8 for the first games back, but those plans could be dashed if Boris Johnson officially extends the lockdown until June.
Arsenal and West Ham are so far the only Premier League clubs to have returned to training with special measures in place to ensure that players are not at risk of catching the virus.
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