English fifth-tier side Barnet FC laying off all non-playing staff over coronavirus

Barnet FC have placed all non-playing staff on notice for redundancy as they consider the impact the coronavirus is going to have on football's long-term future.

Since the club were relegated to the National League at the end of the 2017-18 season, they have seen a drop in attendance and a general increase in costs. And with parachute funding finishing in April, they have made drastic cost-cutting measures.

Barnet's league fixtures have been suspended until April 3 at the earliest due to the outbreak of COVID-19. And to pre-empt further financial strain on the club, chairman Tony Kleanthous has placed the club's entire non-playing staff on notice.

"This is to include all first-team coaching and backroom staff, the Barnet FC Academy and many of the operational staff across all areas of the club," read a statement from the club.

The club clarified that their head coach, Darren Currie, has a "long notice period within his contract" and will remain in charge until the end of the season and "possibly beyond."

"Our greatest concern is that within the UK and across the entire world, people are losing loved ones," Kleanthous said. "Our sympathies and thoughts go out to everyone affected but right now, I have to focus my attention closer to home and look at the impact it's having on our club.

"It is my responsibility to ensure Barnet FC continues to survive and remains financially stable and therefore, I have had to make difficult decisions.

"I have to be open and honest with the staff and it's been a difficult past few days having to deliver the bad news but it's something that had to be done.

"I have not had time to think about plans for next season yet but we will have to find a way to move forward based upon our current crowd attendance because existing National League rules limit any signings we can make or players' salaries we can commit to going forward.

"The knock-on effects are of course heart-breaking for me personally as I am fully aware of how this will impact my phenomenal team of hard-working support staff across the group."