Hartlepool United ask staff to take 20% wage cut because of coronavirus

Hartlepool United
Dave Challinor's Hartlepool side were only three points outside the play-off places when the season was suspended

Hartlepool United have asked staff and players to take a 20% cut in wages for March as they deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The club have also laid off a "small number" of staff with an "additional few" at risk of redundancy.

The National League has asked the FA to close the rest of their season.

"These actions were taken with a heavy heart and involve individuals who have shown loyal service to the club," said Pools chief executive Mark Maguire.

"But these are tough times and we simply must make sure that the club emerges with a sustainable cost base whilst still being competitive on the pitch."

Hartlepool are ninth in the National League, which has been suspended since 14 March.

Fellow fifth-tier sides Yeovil and Aldershot have also asked their staff to take salary reductions, but Barnet are among the sides who will utilise government measures to cover up to 80% of staff wages.

"The chairman has supported the club over the last two years financially and continues to do so. His investment has already gone significantly beyond initial projections and whilst he continues to support the club we cannot and will not take his contribution for granted," Maguire told the Hartlepool website.

"If anything next season's start is uppermost of our priorities as the ability to sell season tickets is crucial to our sustainability over the coming months. Without a season start date we can't go on sale."