Howe generous – Eddie is the first top flight boss to take a voluntary pay cut

By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League boss to take a voluntary pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.

With football suspended since mid-March – and showing few signs of an immediate return – the Cherries manager and other senior staff have taken a cut in wages to help balance the books.

The club said chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, Howe and assistant Jason Tindall have “all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time”.

The statement from the board of directors read: “As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to gather pace, there are far more questions than answers regarding its effects.

“One thing is for certain, however; the wellbeing of our employees, supporters, local communities and everyone around the world is of far greater significance than football matches.

“There is no script for moments like this. No tactics and no set plays to find a winning formula. But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees is protected when the season returns.”

Bournemouth have also followed in the footsteps of fellow Premier League clubs Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich by furloughing a “number of staff”.

“These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world,” the statement continued.

“Furloughed employees – all of whose roles have been affected by the closure of Vitality Stadium and the club’s other sites – will be on leave for a minimum of three weeks under the UK government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which is currently set to run until Sunday 31st May.

“Affected staff can be recalled to work after a short notice period, if necessary.

“Throughout the entirety of this time, they will continue to receive their full salary, with the club committing to topping up each furloughed employee’s wages to 100 per cent of their normal pay, while claiming back 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, as per government guidelines.”