Clubs across Scotland are set to follow the lead of Celtic by furloughing their youth squads.
Earlier this week, Scottish football below the Championship was suspended for three weeks as the country resumes lockdown in the fight against Covid-19. It then emerged that Celtic were to furlough their U18s squad.
This financial measure was implemented to cut costs, youth football in Scotland off the cards just now amid the new restrictions. Already this season, youth league football and the Reserve League have been cancelled.
But now many teams across the country are set to follow Celtic by furloughing their youth players, with many embarking on this path, some already taking the steps in order to implement this.
It allows young players to retain their entire salary over the whole time where they are being prevented by law from training or playing football. Taxpayers pay up to 80% of the young players’ wage packet under the UK Government coronavirus job retention scheme.
Representatives of all 42 clubs met this week to discuss the move to put some of our leagues on hold. League One, League Two, the Highland and Lowland Leagues, plus the Women’s Premier Leagues 1 and 2, are all inactive until January 31, alongside the Scottish Cup.
This hasn’t passed without controversy as Stenhousemuir chairman Iain McMenemy hit out at the SPFL over this call: “As has also now been widely reported, there was a scheduled SPFL General Meeting of Members held on Wednesday 13th January where clubs expected to be able to discuss this critical development.
“To clarify the timeline, this meeting was just 48 hours after the decision to suspend clubs was announced in the media. I am bitterly disappointed to confirm the reports in the press that the SPFL refused to allow any discussion between clubs on this topic, and any other issues in that meeting.
“Club representatives had their microphones muted and the only communication accepted was where clubs could email questions to the secretary, who would in turn email them to the Chairman and he would read them out. At no point were clubs allowed to speak. I made a number of requests to speak, and they were all refused.”
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