I hope you, your family and friends are staying safe and well during these unprecedented times. I wanted to write today to update you on what we’re doing at Thunder to secure the future of our franchise amid the Coronavirus crisis.
From Friday 27 March, all 17 players and coaching staff employed by the franchise were furloughed through the government scheme to support businesses through the current unprecedented period.
This will ensure the business can continue to keep its on and off court team together and, once the restrictions on social distancing are lifted, resume our work.
For the franchise as a business, it means 80 per cent of our salary bill will be paid by the government. We have though committed to top up the remaining 20 per cent so our players and coaches continue to receive what they usually would.
We want to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that Manchester Thunder has a strong future once the national emergency measures are lifted and life, for us all, returns to some sense of normality.
We have been part of the Superleague for its entire existence and know that, though there are no easy decisions, this is the right one for all of us.
While we are a business, we are primarily a family – and we look after each other – which is why we are also making the commitment to ensure our furloughed players and coaches will receive the same as they always have, with Thunder topping up the government’s business support.
We want to ensure we are in a strong position to resume operations once the national emergency comes to an end, ensuring that players and coaches have the opportunity to compete, and fans have the opportunity to cheer them on.
Thunder, like all Superleague franchises, are a crucial part of our sport – where talent is identified, skills developed, and the next generation of international stars emerge. At a time of so much uncertainty, and after an exciting start to the current season, I am determined to ensure we protect ourselves for the future.
Finally, there is one visible impact you’ll see from our decision today. Our players and coaches can not undertake work for or on behalf of Manchester Thunder while they are furloughed. This means you will see less of them on our social media channels. We’ll make sure though you always receive the latest news from the Thunder family.
Thank you for your continued support.
With best wishes