Coronavirus crisis forces PA Sport to furlough 44 staff on government job retention scheme

Press Association sports editor Ashley Broadley has paid tribute to his ‘talented group of journalists’ after 44 of his team were put on paid leave.

Just 22 journalists will be retained to provide updates on how the coronavirus crisis is affecting different sports and to write features and archival content.

The others have been placed on the job retention scheme which covers 80 per cent of wages up to a maximum of £30,000 per year.

Sports editor Broadley, an SJA committee member (left), said: “I have a talented group of journalists and it was an extremely tough decision to put a number of them on furlough because of the blank sporting calendar. I am immensely proud of them all and looking forward to them returning as soon as possible.”

A PA Media Group spokesperson added: “From this week, 44 PA journalists, 39 in sport editorial, and the remainder in racing, are being temporarily furloughed due to the cessation of sport and racing worldwide.

“Another 22 sports journalists will continue to work normally, providing regular updates on the impact of the crisis on sport, plus features and archival content to assist our customers in populating their sports sections during the current extraordinary circumstances. PA’s news operation continues to operate normally and is unaffected by these measures.

“In addition, a number employees from across all PA Media Group companies will be furloughed or take unpaid leave. Taken together, these measures affect roughly 25pc of the group’s total staff.

“As well as the steps announced today, PA Media Group’s senior executive management have already opted to reduce their salary by 30pc and the company will be considering what further measures should be taken to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19.”

Regional publishers who will be furloughing staff due to the crisis include Newsquest and the Midland News Association.