Barnes insists furlough reversal only possible in ‘socialist Liverpool’

Date published: Thursday 9th April 2020 7:12

John Barnes Liverpool

John Barnes says Liverpool deserve “respect” for reversing their decision to furlough staff, insisting it was only made possible because of the pressure Liverpool fans put on owners FSG.

The club legend claims it simply wouldn’t have happened at other clubs, because of Liverpool’s background as a socialist city.

He told bonuscodebets: “The decision for Liverpool to do this (not use the government furlough scheme) is because the club came under real pressure from the fans. You have to understand Liverpool as a city in a cultural aspect, compared to London. It is so different. I don’t imagine other clubs will do this (overturn the decision because of pressure from fans).

“It reminds me of when Liverpool went and put their season ticket prices up, and then with pressure from the fans they decided not to. If you look at the ticket prices in London, they are a lot more expensive than Liverpool. Other club’s fans wouldn’t put the owners and board under pressure like you would see Liverpool fans do so.

“Liverpool is a socialist city, the fans let it be known if there is something that they don’t want their club to follow in. You have to respect Liverpool listening to the fans, most clubs wouldn’t care what the fans say at all.”



Liverpool initially announced their plan to furlough some non-playing staff on Saturday, but reversed their decision on Monday, after the club came under fire.

But Barnes claims the club were “well within their rights” to use the government scheme.

“We can all talk about principles and morality, but the Government have offered this scheme, and it doesn’t take away from anyone else that wants to partake. There isn’t a set quota, so Liverpool are well within their rights to take furlough,” he said.

“I don’t feel the club are wrong to be looking into this as an option as we don’t know how long this situation is going to go on for. Football clubs are going to have to let staff go permanently, maybe furloughing staff now means that three or four months down the line is more sensible than having to sack staff later on.

“We don’t know who’s wrong or right currently, I’m not going to judge Tottenham or anybody else that does furlough staff as they’re not taking money out of anyone else’s pocket.”

Footballers across the country announced plans to band together to support the NHS and the fight against  coronavirus on Wednesday evening.

It came after footballers were targeted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who told them to “take a pay cut, play their part”.

Barnes added: “Footballers taking a pay cut is not going to help the NHS, if anything it is going to be counterproductive as it means that two hundred million pounds of taxes won’t be going into the government funding which then won’t help the NHS.

“It’s always been that way (footballers being used as scapegoats). You look at racism, the whole tackle against racism is labelled against football and seen that football must do more to tackle it. It is a society problem and that is the truth. Life and society absolve itself of responsibility because we’re doing a lot and we are busy.

“We look at other countries such as Serbia and Montenegro and thinking we need to ban them from competitions rather than just looking at ourselves. It is the same now.

He added: “Why aren’t people looking at multi-millionaires, big businesses, and huge corporations saying, ‘they need to donate there.’ No… it’s footballers again because they are an easy target. They are working class boys who made good and they should be punished for it.

“Never mind these middle-class multi-millionaires we don’t expect them to do it, let’s pick on the working-class boys who have done well. It’s the jealous society we live in. Why not cricketers and rugby players and everyone else? 90% of footballers don’t earn good money, most are on £500 a week and can’t pay their mortgage, but we’re always told ‘footballers earn lots of money and need to do more’.”


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