In Brief

Today’s back pages: Spurs make furlough U-turn and English football gears up for 6 June restart

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 14 April

Spurs do a U-turn

The dominant story on the back pages is the news that Tottenham Hotspur have reversed their decision to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme and reduce the wages of their non-playing staff. 

At the end of last month Spurs announced that 550 employees would see their wages slashed by 20% but yesterday they performed what most papers describe as a “U-turn” in stating that non-playing staff will receive “100% of their pay for April and May”. 

Only board members will now take salary reductions, including chairman Daniel Levy, who said in the statement: “We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club.” 

According to The Guardian, “supporter pressure” was responsible for the change of heart from Tottenham, while the Daily Mirror says the board also came under pressure from players.

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All systems go for 6 June

According to The Sun, English football is “gearing up” for a 6 June restart with the English Football League (EFL) leading the charge in the desire to get things going again. 

Financial necessity means the EFL is desperate to complete the 2019-20 season, and the Premier League is also in talks with the government about restarting on this date. 

The Daily Mirror says all matches would be played behind closed doors and the 6 June date will have to be approved by the government.

Frank: criticism was unfair 

Metro carries comments by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard in which he complains that football was unfairly singled out for criticism in the way players responded to calls to do their bit in the coronavirus crisis. 

“Football players will try and do the right thing,” said Lampard. “I think they needed some time and the politicians jumped the gun while things were being prepared.” 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was among MPs who accused top-flight players of failing to do their bit, criticism that clearly rankled with Lampard. 

“It was unfortunate that picture got painted,” he added. “Since then a lot of players have stood up. That’s been a very good reaction and it’s ongoing and it shouldn’t stop.” 

Alas, as the Sun reports on its back page, not all players have “stood up”, with the paper one of several to report that the Arsenal squad have refused to take a 12.5% pay cut despite the club’s financial difficulties.

Arsenal players reject 12.5% pay cut - could Aubameyang now be off?

Today’s sport headlines

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