The coronavirus pandemic has forced MK Dons to ‘furlough’ all their non-football staff.
With the entertainment industry hit hard by the outbreak, staff in the entire Stadium MK group, including hotel staff, have been affected by the move. However, the club will continue to pay the players.
With the economic effects of the lockdown starting to bite, chairman Pete Winkleman confirmed he was planning to use a government scheme to pay eighty per cent of their wages.
Furloughed workers are unable to work because the virus has forced the closure of their places of employment. They have not been made redundant.
Speaking to the MK Citizen, Winkleman said: ‘Since day one of the crisis, our absolute focus has been on protecting our fantastic staff and ensuring that, once this is all over, they have a job and a workplace to come back to.’
‘We, therefore, welcomed the recent intervention from the Government and their Job Retention Scheme. While we await full details, we are confident that this scheme will prove vital for the hotel and events side of our business, and we trust that it will support football as well.’
‘A large number of businesses across the country, including football clubs, have begun furloughing staff. We can also confirm that, with the exception of the players, we have notified our workforce that they will be furloughed, while still receiving their full monthly pay for March.’
‘We are hopeful that the Government’s scheme will enable us to maintain full employment across the whole Stadium MK group and ensure we can all get back to delivering our purpose within the Milton Keynes community as soon as possible.’
In September, Winkleman forecast the club looked set to lose up to £10,000 a day in League One after promotion back to the third tier in 2018/19. He also revealed he’d ‘chucked money at it’ in recent years and worried over the long term sustainability of the current financial model for football in general.
We are not fans of MK Dons and everything they stand for, but we do admire a transparent chairman.
Fair play to Winkleman for keeping fans updated during an extremely worrying time for all football clubs.