Manchester Thunder put players on furlough to safeguard the franchise

Manchester Thunder are placing their players on furlough  (PA Images)
Manchester Thunder are placing their players on furlough (PA Images)
15:03pm, Tue 31 Mar 2020
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Vitality Superleague club Manchester Thunder have announced they will continue to pay their players during the crisis. 

The reigning champions are set to take up the government's option to support businesses during these 'unprecedented times', with the Superleague postponed until the end of April.

Thunder's managing director Debbie Hallas said  in a statement: "From March 27, all 17 players and coaching staff employed by the franchise were furloughed through the government scheme to support businesses through the current unprecedented period.

"This will ensure the business can continue to keep its on and off court team together and, once the restrictions on social distancing are lifted, resume our work."

This means 80 per cent of the club's salary bill will be paid by the government and the club itself have confirmed that they will pay the remaining 20 per cent. 

"We want to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that Manchester Thunder has a strong future once the national emergency measures are lifted and life, for us all, returns to some sense of normality," she added. 

Head coach Karen Greig wrote on Twitter: "It’s reassuring that our franchise has our backs in these difficult times, I can’t wait for all this to be over so we can go hard again! Missing these guys. #StayHomeSaveLives #thunderfamily #alwayswithyou"

Hallas said: "Finally, there is one visible impact you'll see from our decision today. Our players and coaches can not undertake work for or on behalf of Manchester Thunder while they are furloughed. This means you will see less of them on our social media channels."

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