Sheffield and Halifax furlough players and staff due to coronavirus pandemic

Sheffield and Halifax are the latest Championship clubs to furlough its players and staff.

The coronavirus job retention scheme has been brought in by the government in order to allow employers to place their employees on a temporary leave of absence, with 80% or up to £2,500 of their wages covered by the government.

The rugby league season has been suspended indefinitely due to the global pandemic, which has forced clubs to furlough its employees.

Sheffield chairman Chris Noble said: “These are worrying times for everyone across the country and we have taken swift and immediate action to try and ensure we best protect our players, staff and the club.

“The situation is ever changing and with no confirmed end date of current government guidelines or a recommencement of the 2020 season we have had to put these measures in place.

“I would like to go on record thanking all of our playing and backroom staff for their understanding and support of what we have implemented along with those staff who helped ensure this was sorted in a quick and professional manner.

“I’d also like to express the club’s thanks to the Rugby Football League (RFL) for their help and support during this difficult time.”

Halifax managing director, Dave Grayson, said: “With no game revenue coming into the club for, as yet an undefined time, the club’s finances will be put under stress and we as a board of directors have to ensure that every solution to risk mitigate is explored and actioned.

“There has been a huge amount of work and support, behind the scenes, from both the RFL and of course the government and without that, I am sure this challenge would be even greater for us a club and probably the game in general.

“As published previously, we have a business continuity plan and this latest announcement is simply just another action from it.

“Support of our staff, fanbase, commercial partners and supporter groups will be critical in the coming weeks or months and we thank them for standing by us thus far and look forward to that support continuing.”

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