Barnet redundancies to be avoided, says chairman Tony Kleanthous
Last Updated: 24/03/20 9:21pm
Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous says most of the 60 staff he served with notice of redundancy last week can now remain at the club.
The National League side last week told employees including head coach Darren Currie they were set to lose their jobs with no cashflow coming in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But Kleanthous, who described the original move as "heart-breaking", now says Government support should keep redundancies to a minimum.
He said: "The number of people affected, excluding the academy, is now less than half a dozen, who for various reasons e.g. end of contract, returned overseas etc, would have departed anyway."
With no revenue coming in from matchdays or the club's stadium The Hive, which remains closed for all but community aid services, Barnet are suffering operational losses of around £100,000 per month.
Kleanthous, who has owned the club since 1994, says he is prepared to make a big commitment to keeping his Academy staff in work but is hoping there will be further Government support. He said: "Due to relegation and the cancelling of our licence, we will no longer be allowed to operate as an EPPP Academy, even if we wanted it to.
"Covid-19 has brought a premature end to our operation and we have asked the FA and EFL for a licence extension.
"Given they themselves are lobbying for Government support, we remain hopeful that they will fully appreciate our predicament and help us in this small, yet very important way.
"If they agree, we will only receive 50% of the half a million pounds funding that is required, so we have pledged to make the balance available and reprieve all the Academy staff and guarantee their jobs for the foreseeable future. We are awaiting the outcome of this request."
Barnet are currently 11th in the National League, four points behind the play-off positions but have several games in hand on everyone else in the division.
It's still to be decided whether the league will play out the remainder of the season or cancel it altogether.