LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher (R) and former Manchester United player Gary Neville (L) working for Sky Sports before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jamie Carragher “delighted” at Liverpool’s U-turn over furlough that “embarrassed” fans

Jamie Carragher was left “delighted” after Liverpool’s owners reversed their decision to furlough non-playing staff, as it had “embarrassed” him and other supporters.

Fenway Sports Group have changed their plan to use a government scheme to cover 80 percent of their furloughed employees’ wages, topping up 20 percent themselves.

After criticism from fans, ex-players and the media, the club have now announced that they will explore “alternative means” to pay their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carragher was one of those to most publicly criticise his former employers on social media, and speaking to Sky Sports he has reflected on his initial reaction.

“My hope was that there was enough time that they would reverse this decision,” he explained.

“I was very angry when the decision came through, because at this moment Liverpool are holders of the European Cup, top of the league, world champions.

“They tick so many boxes where people who are not Liverpool fans probably look at them now as some sort of model to try and replicate, how they’ve gone about things, the manager, the club.

“And to get something so badly wrong, I could not believe it.

“I don’t think any football club should do what Liverpool did a couple of days ago, I was embarrassed as a Liverpool fan.

“I know there were two clubs before Liverpool, in Spurs and Newcastle. In some ways I didn’t like what those clubs did but I expected it.

“And I think the football world expected it from Daniel Levy and Mike Ashley, if we’re being totally honest, but not Liverpool, who built themselves up under these owners.

“‘This Means More’. The anthem of You’ll Never Walk Alone. Always looking back to Bill Shankly and socialist values. So I thought it was a shocking decision that they made.”

BERLIN, GERMANY - Saturday, July 29, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp with club owner John W. Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti before a preseason friendly match celebrating 125 years of football for Liverpool and Hertha BSC Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The reaction to FSG’s U-turn has been largely positive, as though it has been deemed a pointless exercise of bad PR they quickly acknowledged their mistake due to fan pressure.

Carragher continued to detail his embarrassment at the situation as a Liverpool supporter, adding that he is “delighted that they’ve changed their mind.”

“I still think it will leave a bitter taste with a lot of Liverpool supporters,” he added.

“What this did was save the club a few million pounds, which was nothing. It cost the taxpayer a few million pounds which, in the grand scheme of things, is not the biggest amount ever.

“But it embarrassed Liverpool supporters throughout the country.

“Manchester United, Man City, Everton supporters, that’s all they’ve been getting all the time now, almost laughing at Liverpool, and they’ve embarrassed themselves, embarrassed their own supporters.

“So I’m delighted that they changed their minds. They had to change their minds, there’s no doubt about that. I’m glad they saw sense.

“They’ve actually made mistakes before, Liverpool’s owners, in terms of ticket pricing, they tried to trademark ‘Liverpool’ so local street sellers couldn’t sell Liverpool FC gear.

“And what they’ve always done, these owners—and credit to them—is when they’ve made a big mistake they’ve pulled back on it. That was my hope.”