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Manchester United vow to pay 3,000 casual workers even if matches are cancelled

Manchester United vow to pay 3,000 casual workers even if matches are cancelled
© Reuters
Matchday workers at Old Trafford are in danger of losing out on shifts due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Manchester United have vowed to pay their 3,000 casual staff even if the remainder of this season’s Premier League matches are forced behind closed doors or cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Covid-19’s impact is deep and wide-reaching across society, leaving many people worrying about their jobs as well as their well-being.

Thursday’s announcement that the professional game in England will not return until at least April 30 will have exacerbated employees’ concerns, but United have announced their casual workforce’s earnings will be protected.

Manchester United will protect the earnings of casual staff
Manchester United will protect the earnings of casual staff (Richard Sellers/PA)

In a statement, the Premier League club said: “Manchester United will pay all its loyal matchday and non-matchday casual workers, should Premier League games be cancelled or played behind closed doors for the remainder of this season.

“This goodwill gesture reflects the club’s desire to reduce the financial uncertainty facing its casual workforce, and is in recognition of the crucial role they play in delivering services to supporters.”

Old Trafford is still due to host four Premier League matches this season and the PA news agency understands the payment to United’s 3,000-plus casual workers will be over £1million in total.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We rely on our outstanding staff to deliver an exceptional service and experience to fans at Old Trafford.

“We understand that these are unprecedented circumstances and want to give them security whatever may happen regarding our remaining fixtures this season.

“We look forward to welcoming back all our supporters – and our colleagues – to Old Trafford as soon as possible.”

Last week United announced they were paying £350 towards the travel and accommodation of each supporter that bought a ticket for the trip to LASK after Austria’s Covid-19 measures saw the Europa League last-16 first leg forced behind closed doors.

Liverpool will also pay casual matchday and retail staff for the three home Premier League matches which have been suspended, PA understands.

The goodwill payments will be made on a pro-rata basis and will cost the club, who do not have zero hours contracts, between £200,000 and £250,000 for each game and they will continue to assess the situation in line with Premier League updates.

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