The club announced on Saturday that some staff would be furloughed using the government's scheme that allows 80% of their wages to be paid by the state, adding that they would make up the rest.

They received criticism for their use of government funds during the coronavirus crisis as they enjoy a strong financial decision, making more than £40 million in profit last year.

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That has led to a u-turn, with chief executive Peter Moore saying: "We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week and are truly sorry for that."

Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City had already taken the decision to furlough some of their own staff on the government's scheme.

"Despite the fact we were in a healthy position prior to this crisis, our revenues have been shut off yet our outgoings remain," explained Moore.

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"And like almost every sector of society, there is great uncertainty and concern over our present and future.

"Like any responsible employer concerned for its workers in the current situation, the club continues to prepare for a range of different scenarios, around when football can return to operating as it did before the pandemic.

"These scenarios range from best case to worst, and everything in between.

"It is an unavoidable truth that several of these scenarios involve a massive downturn in revenue, with correspondingly unprecedented operating losses.

"Having these vital financial resources so profoundly impacted would obviously negatively affect our ability to operate as we previously have."

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