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Vitality Netball Superleague franchise Surrey Storm furlough staff and players

Surrey Storm's Mikki Austin
Image: Storm are furloughing of staff to safeguard future jobs and help sustain the club

Vitality Netball Superleague franchise Surrey Storm have announced that they are in the process of furloughing staff and players.

In a statement released on Friday night, the franchise said that owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic they have decided to furlough their workforce, in order to safeguard future jobs and help sustain the club.

The franchise, led by director, head coach and player Mikki Austin, are the second in the competition to follow this pathway.

Earlier this week, Manchester Thunder openly announced their decision to take up the government's support scheme and added that they will pay the final 20 per cent of individuals' salaries.

This is an approach which Storm will also follow, topping up furloughed staff's salaries, in order to ensure that all at the franchise receive their usual full renumeration.

Austin shared her own message to Storm's fan base at the start of the new week and int it, delivered her thanks to all NHS staff and key workers.

"Hi Storm fans, I hope you are all well and keeping safe," the franchise director said.

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"I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your brilliant support so far this season - the girls and I really appreciate it.

"During this break, we are all working hard to make sure we are ready for when the season gets going again.We can't wait to see you all again soon, and get back to our amazing home crowd at Surrey Sports Park.

"I would like to extend my thanks to each of the heroic NHS staff and key workers who are continuing their work to battle this pandemic.

"We are all doing our bit to follow the Government guidelines in order to look after each other, and I encourage you all to join us in doing the same. Stay at home, save lives.

"Stay safe and look after each other. We'll be back soon."

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