SOUTHEND UNITED Chairman, Ron Martin, has taken to the club official website to explain their position over furloughed players and staff.
The cash-strapped Sky Bet League One outfit were embroiled in a desperate relegation battle before football was suspended amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and with revenue hit hard with the lack of matchday income and corporate sponsorship, the Blues, like many other clubs, are facing up to an uncertain future.
“The club has furloughed just six players at present together with 59 backroom staff. 100% of the backroom staff accepted being placed on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme,” Mr Martin told www.southendunited.co.uk.
“These are difficult times for everybody and we all have to pull together to find a solution through to the other side.
“Many of the club’s employees were not furloughed and which includes senior management whose contracts are not affected.
“It is correct that the six players that were furloughed are some of the highest-paid individuals and who, it is hoped, may be better placed to manage this crisis. Whatever the position it is the club’s wish to be fair to all its loyal staff and it is hoped, as stated in the furlough letter, the club will make up any shortfall, when normality returns.
“I see this as part of the club’s continuing social responsibility to help where we can.
The statement continued: “To put the record straight those six players that have been furloughed were paid 100% of their salary up until the time they were furloughed and additionally the proportionate sum due under the Governments Job Retention Scheme.
“Nobody knows what the future holds but what I do feel is that the world has become a better place with innumerable selfless acts. We all have to be kind to each other and the club will play its part the best it can and for as long as it can.
“Football will return but for the moment “normality” looks to be some way off. Until then I wish all our supporters, their families and friends good health and stay safe.”
Meanwhile, boss, Sol Campbell messaged Blues fans, saying: “Firstly, I hope all our supporters are keeping well, staying safe and sticking to the government guidelines.
“It’s a frustrating time for everyone, not just football, and we’re all feeling it but it goes without saying that our health and safety always comes first.”