Women's Sport: Reading FC furlough women's team

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Players for Reading's women's team have been placed on furlough under the government's job retention scheme. The club is the first in the Women's Super League to take such action.

BBC Sport reports that the team were told of the changes last week and that while the government will cover 80 per cent of their salary, the remaining 20 per cent will be topped up by the club.

The broadcaster reports that the measures also apply to the men's under-23s team and a significant proportion of non-playing staff. 

Reading's men's team play in the Championship and while some teams in the league have already come to agreements regarding temporary changes to their wages, Reading has yet to do the same. 

The move is in sharp contrast with other WSL clubs such as Chelsea who yesterday released a statement reassuring their women's team and non-playing staff of their job security.

Similarly, while Arsenal's men's team has agreed to a wage reduction, the women's team has not been asked to participate, in recognition of the lower wages they receive in comparison with the men's side. 

BBC Sport reports that some squads in the Women's Championship have been furloughed already, underscoring worries of the future of the women's game after the pandemic.

It's not just in the UK, ESPN has reported that in Spain Barcelona's women's team have taken a 70 per cent pay cut, the same as the men's team.

FIFA has confirmed, however, that the one billion dollars earmarked for women's football is still set aside, despite the pandemic.

The last WSL fixture took place in February before matches were halted due to the coronavirus and Reading are fifth in the league with 21 points. 

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