Marcus Evans to top-up furlough payments, plus why season ticket money is still being taken

PUBLISHED: 11:37 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:17 01 April 2020

Portman Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Portman Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2020 SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Town Football Club have today taken monthly direct debit payments from season ticket holders following advice from the EFL.

The Blues have long offered supporters the chance to spread the cost of their season tickets over 12 months on a zero interest direct debit scheme. Today, the club has taken the April instalments of those payments, even though all football has been postponed for the entirety of the month.

A club spokesperson said: “The directive from the EFL is to carry on as though the season is going to be finished as normal – i.e. games played in front of fans. There are also technical reasons as to why direct debits can’t just be stopped and resumed, the full details of which will go out on our website later today.

“Obviously, if it turns out the games are not played, still a big ‘if’, then a decision as to whether season ticket refunds will be made would have to be taken by the football club.”

Meanwhile, it’s understood that Ipswich Town are set to become the latest club to put the vast majority of their off-field staff on the Government’s furlough scheme.

MORE: ‘I took pills, had injections and couldn’t move... I was playing at 50%’ - Norwood opens up on painful first year at Ipswich

Despite football having been suspended since Friday, March 13, Town’s off-field staff have continued to work, most of them from home, and have been paid their full wage as normal for March.

However, the Blues are now set to follow the likes of Newcastle, Norwich and Tottenham by utilising the Government’s emergency salary scheme which allows staff to claim 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Unlike some of the clubs taking the furlough route, owner Marcus Evans will then pay the remaining 20 per cent – as well as topping up anybody’s wages who earn above the threshold – to ensure no-one is forced to take a wage cut.

Premier League and EFL clubs are meeting with the PFA today to discuss the potential of a collective deferral of players’ wages.

Championship Birmingham City having asked their players earning in excess of £6,000 to defer 50% of their wages, while the Leeds squad, staff and senior management have voluntarily deferred their salaries to help their off-field staff.

Last week, Town manager Paul Lambert said he and his staff were willing to make a similar move.

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