Alan Shearer has his say on controversial Mike Ashley move at Newcastle United

Alan Shearer has criticised the decision of some “bigger” clubs to furlough staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 1:12 pm

Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur provoked a backlash by furloughing non-playing employees on 80% of their wages were using a Government scheme.

Liverpool abandoned plans to follow suit after criticism from fans.

Former Newcastle striker Shearer has had his say in a column for BBC Sport.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Alan Shearer, right, and Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce.

“The game is an easy target because of the amount of money involved in it, but so much great work is done by players, managers and clubs in their local communities and beyond, which often goes unseen,” said Shearer.

“So it’s a shame to see some Premier League clubs furloughing staff, when it seems avoidable. The scheme was not brought in to help companies who have made millions of pounds in the past few years. It was meant for smaller businesses who could go bust, and whose staff might not have a job to go back to otherwise.

“Liverpool have already reversed their decision over the weekend to furlough some non-playing staff, but there are other Premier League clubs who do not come out of this too well with the decision they have made and, so far, stuck with.

“What is right for Norwich, or clubs further down the pyramid who are going to struggle to survive this crisis, is not necessarily right for the so-called bigger clubs.”

United have no plans to reverse their decision to furlough staff.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has claimed that clubs will lose £1billion if this season is not restarted, and Newcastle’s own liability is estimated to be just over £40million.

Shearer said: “One thing that seems certain is that this has changed the whole landscape of football, in terms of salaries and future transfer fees. I hope that doesn’t mean we’ll see some clubs going to the wall.

“Football does not seem important right now, but, at the same time, we’re all looking forward to the day it resumes again. It’ll be a sign that life is getting back to normal.

“When it does, I hope we can get this season finished.”