Manchester United have written to employees today to inform them that they will continue to be paid 100% of their salary and the club won’t be making use of the government furlough scheme. While it would have seemed ridiculous a week ago to even suggest that a football club that generates millions of pounds a year would take advantage of the funding the government has put in place, clubs like Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich have proven that other options were available to the Glazers.

Following a couple of days of being widely criticised, Liverpool’s owners have today been shamed in to confirming that they no longer plan to take advantage of tax payer’s money to pay their staff. It has been a PR disaster for them with even former players like Jamie Carragher and Danny Mills openly criticising the club. For the country’s sake, it is a positive thing they won’t be taking the money that was made available to smaller struggling businesses, and hopefully the other clubs will follow suit, but the damage has already been done to Liverpool’s reputation. At a time when the rest of the nation was coming together to help each other, Liverpool sought to exploit this country. Presumably they have no intention of dipping in to the transfer market whenever the window may open if they’re that hard up. Oh.

United have also encouraged their staff to volunteer and help the NHS if they can. The club has 900 full-time employees are are extending ‘goodwill payments’ for around 950 non-matchday casual workers until June.

After the players became the first club to offer 30% of their salary to the NHS, the club is in talks with the NHS to find out other ways they can help. The use of the facilities at Old Trafford has reportedly been offered, as well as any help through donations of equipment or goods.

Marcus Rashford has also been instrumental in Fare Share being able to provide 740,000 meals to vulnerable children across Manchester during this time, while David de Gea donated €300,000 to help hospitals in Madrid.

As reported in The National, Ed Woodward updated the staff over e-mail today.

We have reviewed how we can best support all our colleagues within the Manchester United family. As you may know, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been created by the Government for companies to use. Currently, this extends through to 1 June, however, we can confirm that we will not be furloughing any staff as part of this scheme and we will be paying all our employees as if they were working as usual. We will continue to keep the situation under review and communicate with you if this were to change in any way in the future.

For those colleagues who are unable to complete their normal roles, or have a reduced workload during this period, we strongly encourage you to volunteer – either with the NHS or in your local communities. The club is in active discussions about multiple ways for us to help the NHS and employee volunteering is one way for us to make a difference. As previously communicated, please let us know when you volunteer, so we can provide you with further support as required.

There aren’t many occasions where I get to praise the decision makers at United but we’ve dealt with this situation admirably. I’m as proud as I ever have been to support United.