Liverpool chairman Tom Werner admits the club made a mistake when announcing proposals to furlough staff, prior to making a U-turn due to the backlash received.
At the beginning of April, the club had planned to take advantage of the government’s scheme intended for vulnerable businesses – despite announcing a a pre-tax profit of £42m just two months earlier.
This would have seen the state paying 80% of staff wages, with the club topping up the remaining 20%.
However, the announcement was met with widespread criticism from Liverpool supporters and the wider football community, and the club backtracked on the decision within 48 hours.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Werner said: “It’s better to admit a mistake than to dig your heels in. Hopefully people will know that all we really care about is trying to support the fans and support our players and our club in a way that is sustainable.”
The Reds had been enjoying the season of their lives before the coronavirus halted proceedings.
Liverpool currently have a 25 point buffer over second place Manchester City and are just two wins away from securing their maiden Premier League title. Like manager Jurgen Klopp, Werner emphasised the importance of people’s health over the return of football, but remained hopeful that the league would resume.
“It’s a terrible situation we’re all in,” he added. “Someday, hopefully, there will be a vaccine and we can return to the joy of being in a stadium and watching the elegant play of great football players.
“The most important thing is safety and the Premier League are working on protocols. But there’s a hole in so many people’s lives. Football is central to their dreams and their hopes. Certainly, as regards to Liverpool, we are playing magnificent football and we are just a couple of matches away from winning the trophy. But I do put it in perspective.”