TalkSPORT presenter Georgie Bingham started by saying she wasn’t going to mince her words – and she stayed true to that.
The weekend breakfast show host is patently unimpressed by five Premier League clubs who have used the Government job retention scheme during the coronavirus lockdown.
Last season’s Champions League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Norwich City have furloughed non-playing staff.
Bingham says that clubs who are using this crisis initiative to cover wages should then not be allowed to spend millions when football returns and the transfer window opens.
She said, in a clip which has now gone viral on social media: “Let’s not mince our words on this: if a club goes to the Government for a handout that us the taxpayers will be required to make up in the long run, that club shouldn’t be allowed to do transfers going forward.
“If they are so poor they can’t afford £1m on their wage bill to support their lower paid workers – which they should do, by the way – they shouldn’t be allowed to have transfers.
“No transfer window for you, sorry. If you’re that poor, you don’t need it.
“(They wouldn’t do it then). Of course they wouldn’t. Not a single club in the country would go furlough if it meant they couldn’t do business if and when football resumes. They just wouldn’t do it.
“That’s why football looks really bad this morning. It looks bad for that and looks bad for what I feel is actually bullying players into rescuing football when it is a billionaire playboy industry owned by people who would blink at a footballer’s wages and are doing nothing.”
Stoke City have committed to paying match day staff for postponed matches this season – and have told workers they will be paid with no job losses until August.
Liverpool, however, have put non-playing staff on temporary leave.
A statement from the club said: “Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club – on and off the pitch – with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis.
“There is ongoing active engagement about the topic of salary deductions during the period matches are not being played to schedule. These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing.”
At Spurs, all 550 non-playing staff have seen their wages cut by 20 per cent for an initial period of two months.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said: “We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football eco system.
“I have no doubt we will get through this crisis but life will take some time to get back to normal.”
Bournemouth are using the government’s scheme to place “a number of staff” on paid leave while manager Eddie Howe, assistant boss Jason Tindall, chief executive Neill Blake and technical director Richard Hughes have taken voluntary pay cuts.
Norwich have placed non-playing staff on furlough, with a statement saying: “The furloughing of staff will safeguard future jobs and help sustain the club throughout this period.”
All five clubs have agreed to top up wages of staff members on furlough.