Former midfielder Danny Murphy labelled Liverpool's decision to furlough some of their staff as "grotesque".
The Premier League leaders announced on Saturday they had placed some staff on furlough due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the season being suspended.
Murphy, who made more than 200 appearances for Liverpool, slammed the decision, with Tottenham among the other clubs to have done likewise.
"I'm particularly disappointed with the decision coming from Liverpool yesterday [Saturday] because it runs against the togetherness and unity the club has always been renowned for, particularly over the last 30 years since Hillsborough.
"I think there will be a backlash and while the club's business people might think it will save them some money in the short-term, it will cause reputational damage."
It came as the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) claimed "essential public services" would lose important revenue if players took a 30 per cent pay cut proposed by Premier League clubs.
With Premier League players to donate to the National Health Service (NHS), Murphy believes they have been put in a tough position.
"The furlough controversy put those players in a predicament. I'm sure the players would have wanted to come together and find the money to enable other club employees to continue receiving their full pay packets. The furlough clubs put them on the back foot and even the health secretary jumped in," he wrote.
"The Premier League has now "advised" players to take a 30 per cent pay cut, apparently agreed by the clubs. I don't think the players would object to the principle but they deserve to know first what their money would be used for instead.
"We are talking significant amounts, millions of pounds. If it went to the frontline NHS or charities, that's one thing. If it remained in the clubs' pockets, that is another."