Bournemouth have confirmed that manager Eddie Howe has taken a 'significant voluntary pay cut' as the club seek to top up staff's 80% furlough pay to 100% during the coronavirus pandemic.
Howe is the first Premier League figure to take a wage cut in order to ensure the financial security of other staff members at a football club during the crisis, as Bournemouth become the third English club to furlough their staff after Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle.
Howe's pay cut was confirmed in a statement released on Bournemouth's official club website, which also states that chief executive Neil Blake, technical director Richard Hughes, and assistant manager Jason Tindall have also taken voluntary pay cuts '
The statement also provided details on support for furloughed staff members. It read: "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.
"Furloughed staff will continue to have their benefits – including pension contributions – paid by the club, and holiday entitlement will accrue during this period.
"We are also offering training schemes to allow furloughed staff to continue their development while on leave, and we look forward to welcoming these employees back to their roles as soon it is possible for the club to fully function again."
Howe is currently the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, having been appointed as Bournemouth boss in 2012.
The Englishman has taken the Cherries to unthinkable heights, bringing them to the Premier League in 2015, all the way from the depths of League Two.
Howe's ability to keep Bournemouth in the Premier League for so long has earned him applause from many fans of the English game, as Bournemouth have remained a club operating on a relatively small scale.
As Bournemouth manager...— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) November 29, 2019
- Promoted to League One
- Promoted to the Championship
- Promoted to the Premier League
- 5 consecutive seasons in the top flight
- 2nd longest serving manager in English football
Happy Birthday Eddie Howe! #AFCB pic.twitter.com/zu9eRKPN3U
The Cherries have continued to play at the Vitality Stadium since earning Premier League status, despite it holding just 11,329 people.
And while the Bournemouth manager has enjoyed large-scale success in his current run in charge of the Cherries, this season has been underwhelming so far.
Bournemouth currently sit in the relegation zone in 18th place, two points adrift of Brighton, who are safe in 15th. They remain firmly engaged in a relegation battle, and face competition to stay up from the likes of West Ham, Watford, and Aston Villa.
It will be a tough ask for Eddie Howe to keep Bournemouth in the Premier League this season, but with play currently suspended, nobody is quite sure what the future holds for any team.