Tranmere Rovers have placed a proportion of club staff on furlough leave and are seeking to do the same with their players.

In a message to supporters published on the club's website, chairman Mark Palios confirmed that the Birkenhead club is utilising the government's Job Retention Scheme while the country continues under coronavirus lockdown measures.

The Globe has learned that Tranmere informed their playing staff last week that they also wish to place them all on furlough leave. The players are now consulting the Professional Footballer's Association (PFA) before issuing a response.

The move comes following confirmation from the English Football League that all EFL competitions are suspended until further notice.

Mr Palios said: "The abrupt cessation of football has undoubtedly come as an unwelcome financial shock to the Club, and we have been working hard to ensure that the Club and its staff, emerge from this dreadful scenario able to resume footballing activities whenever that is permitted.

"We have a responsibility to balance the need to safeguard the future of the Club and the desire to support employees through a difficult time. This means using the Government’s job retention scheme to enable us to temporarily furlough staff who ordinarily work in parts of the business which can no longer function, so that we can avoid the need for redundancies.

"We have committed to paying in full all contracted employees whose roles are being furloughed, for March and April. We have been able to do this because of the work that has gone on to stabilise the finances of the Club in recent years which ultimately has made the Club able to attract investment."

One of those investors is the Indonesian-based Santini Group, who purchased a minority stake in Tranmere last year. Mr Palios has thanked the group publicly for supporting key projects continuing at the club and filling an immediate cash hole.

Rovers also have 400 casual workers who are usually utilised for match days or functions and events. The club is currently seeking clarification from the government as to whether they can also benefit from the Job Retention or similar scheme.

Mr Palios added: "Although we believe we are able to weather this storm as a Club, it will undoubtedly be a disaster for some who were already struggling.

"If we are to avoid a series of collapses of football clubs, there needs to be some radical change in the football industry to ensure that some of the financial pressures which are crippling clubs are addressed in a structured way.

"I have been asked to be part of the EFL’s Financial Working Group which has been formed to address the issues facing EFL Clubs and we are in regular dialogue with other governing bodies regarding how we can protect game in the short term, but also for generations to come.

"These are dark times indeed, but I am confident that we will emerge at the end of it, both as a Club and as a community who can be proud of how they coped and helped each other in adversity.

Meanwhile, with no football fixtures due to be played anytime soon, the troublesome pitch at Prenton Park has been dug up.

Wirral Globe: The struggling Prenton Park pitch has been dug upThe struggling Prenton Park pitch has been dug up

Rovers have suffered with poor drainage on their playing surface for the past couple of months, due in part to collapased secondary drains.

It is not clear whether the drains will now be replaced or the pitch will just be relayed. The Globe approached the club regarding the matter but they declined to comment at this stage.

Rovers have however moved to assist supporters by extending its season ticket renewal early bird offer price until the end of May, which they will review again nearer the time.