Despite the PFA reaching an agreement with the EFL that Clubs can have the opportunity to negotiate a wage deferral with their players of up to 25% for April salaries, Shrewsbury Town FC have decided to continue to pay their players and staff in full.
Like most if not all League One and League Two Clubs, STFC have placed their players and the majority staff on furlough in order to be eligible for the government job retention scheme grant of 80% of wages (capped at £2500 per month)
Speaking to Shrewsweb, Brian Caldwell said of how the club didn’t agree with the deferral of players wages at this time.
“At the end of the day, deferring players wages is a difficult one. From a first point of view, players will be out of pocket from the money they were expecting at the end of the month, but secondly as well, deferring it you still need to pay it at some point.
“Because we’ve had some of our monies from next season front-loaded to the club and all clubs have that as well, it’s to use the term; ‘kicking the can down the road’ you’re deferring the money from the players and you’re then going to have to pay it next season or at some point in the future.
“We look at that and say is that right? Our income streams are likely to be less next season because we’ve actually had monies in advance from the EFL, so we think it’s morally the right thing to do to not to defer wages and to instead continue doing the right thing.
Based on this the club have decided to follow the route of furloughing playing staff.
“There’s been a lot of discussions between all League One and League Two clubs and a lot of the clubs have already done it and practically all clubs if not all clubs in League One and League Two will be furloughing their players, there’s an opportunity there to get some government funding back from the player's salaries however we will be topping up and paying the full 100% to ensure nobody’s out of pocket.
“We try to run the club sustainably, we try to run the club the right way as well and that in all aspects means we don’t want people to be out of pocket where possible, we’ve decided that we’re going to furlough the players and we’ll top that up from the 80% to the 100%. Obviously its capped at £2,500 a month anyway so, it’s something towards the wages at a time when the club like any other business has no income streams.
Not only have players been furloughed, but a majority of full-time club staff have also been as well.
“We’ve furloughed quite a number of full-time club staff, again at 100% salaries, we’ve left a skeleton staff like ourselves and some various others within the Academy, the first team, and the Ticket Office, for example, the shop and finance, just so we’ve got some kind of skeleton staff so we can continue to be able to function and to give us a bit of business continuity, but everybody else has been furloughed at 100% wages just now which I think is the right thing to do by us as a football club.
Brian also confirmed that zero-hours contract staff would also continue to be paid to ensure every staff member would be looked after.
“We just feel that it’s the right thing to do, we have staff who are on zero-hours contracts and we weren’t necessarily duty-bound to pay them anything because of those contracts, but you know this is a hard time for everybody so we’ve taken the decision to assist them at the same time. We’re trying to look after all of our staff, the last thing you want to do is lose staff during this as it’s nobody’s fault that we’re in the situation that we are, we’re just trying to best manage it that looks after people and looks after staff in the best possible way that we can.”