Man Utd staff at ‘all-time low’ as club ‘threaten mass firings’ to cost cut

What has gone wrong at Man Utd?

Manchester United have been branded ‘reckless’, ‘heartless’ and ‘a disgrace’ for ‘penny-pinching’ from ground staff by pruning overtime in a cost-cutting exercise. The Red Devils face backlash for reportedly reducing extra hours for some of the club’s lowest-paid staff members in favour of recruiting ‘casual’ workers on zero-hour contracts.

United posted record annual revenues of £648.4million in October and have one of the largest player wage bills in European football.

However, according to the Mail, the club plan to slash extra hours for staff members who work on the pitches at Old Trafford, the Carrington training ground and their youth facilities.

The report claims that many employees who have committed decades of service are being sent new contracts and face the sack if they choose not to sign them.

The decision has the potential to block ground staff from earning up to £15,000 from additional hours on top of their salary, most of which stand between £20,000 and £30,000 per year.

It’s said that staff morale is now at an all-time low off the pitch while United endure their worst start to a season since 1962 on it.

United’s farcical ‘strategic review’, during which their thousand-plus workforce have been left in the dark over the club’s future ownership, has contributed to discontent behind the scenes.

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The Mail add that at least one staff member has already switched allegiances to rivals Manchester City, and more are actively looking to follow out the exit door.

United insist that their public search for ‘casual’ ground staff is for a ‘back-up pool’ so contracted workers can take time off, rather than being replaced.

Annie Hale – United’s human resources director who followed chief operating officer Collette Roche from Manchester Airport – is said to be overseeing the changes.

The club have pointed towards receiving positive feedback after sanctioning a seven per cent pay rise and newly introduced bonuses, made for two years for those impacted.

They state they are ‘modernising an outdated shift pattern to increase flexibility, match footballing needs and ensure staff get enough time off while maximising productivity’.

But noise from elsewhere in the club paints a different picture. “It’s an absolute disgrace,” one insider told the Mail.

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“We are talking about people who love Manchester United, the fabric of the club, who have been there for years. They work incredibly hard because, despite who is at the top, it is their club.

“Almost everyone relies on overtime because it is not a well-paid job. Doing this — especially during a cost of living crisis — is not just heartless. It is reckless.

“They are penny-pinching from those who need it most, chopping salaries of some of the lowest-paid members of staff in half.

“It is yet another example of how detached those in positions of power are from the rank and file.

“The money they will save is peanuts in the grand scheme. When you look at what players earn and how much they have spent on flops, it’s sickening.”

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