Crewe Alexandra have furloughed their staff and players, the club has revealed today.
The League Two side say they have had to take the move because of economic pressures.
The football season has been suspended since March 13 because of the coronavirus crisis and there is uncertainty as to when the professional game can resume.
Crewe say: “In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, and the suspension of all professional football, the club is having to respond to the economic pressures it faces. Consequently, the club has taken the decision to ‘furlough’ its staff and players.
“This decision has been made in order to protect the long-term financial viability of the Football Club in what are unprecedented times.
“During this period the Football Club will be operating on a skeleton staff but can be contacted via email@example.com.”
Under the scheme, the government covers the cost of 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month.
In the Premier League, Newcastle, Spurs, Bournemouth and Norwich have used to the government’s job retention scheme to furlough non-playing staff.
Liverpool had also announced they would use the government’s furlough scheme for non-playing staff but have reversed that decision.
League One club Sunderland have also said today they are placing players and staff on furlough leave.
Sunderland say they will cover the rest so all employees are paid in full.
The club say: “Sunderland AFC can today confirm that its first-team players, contracted academy players and backroom staff have recently been placed on furlough leave due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last week, the FA, the Premier League and the EFL announced they would be collectively postponing their competitions until such time that it is safe for them to resume.
“At this moment in time, SAFC has no intention to ask any players or staff to take a wage reduction or deferral on their salary, and the club remains fully committed to ensuring all employees are paid in full.
“A small number of staff, including manager Phil Parkinson, continue to work from home, and the club’s priority remains the health and wellbeing of its players, staff, supporters and local community during this unprecedented period.”
Portsmouth and Coventry have also revealed they are applying for the government scheme, but are topping up those 80 per cent payments to keep staff on full pay.
She said that, because most of the income for clubs at this level comes from matchdays, then suspending the season is bound to cause financial issues for clubs.
League Two clubs could receive early payments from the Premier League to help them while the season is suspended.
The Premier League has voted to release £125m to the EFL and the National League. However, Vale chief executive Colin Garlick has warned that, while the idea could help some clubs with cash flow problems, advancing payments that would normally have been received later in the year isn’t a long-term solution.
In the case of Vale and other League Two clubs, they would normally receive £225,000 from the Premier League in ‘solidarity payments’ in August and again in January 2021.