EFL League Two side Colchester is set to release four first-team regulars they had wanted to re-sign due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Frank Nouble, Luke Prosser, Ryan Jackson, and Brandon Comley will leave at the end of next month, with the club sixth in Sky Bet League Two.
Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling told the club's website: "I just won't gamble with other people's livelihoods or with the club.
"It is for that reason that I have had to take the very difficult decision of not re-signing a number of players that under normal circumstances I would have been determined to re-sign.
"I appreciate the decision will make the team less capable when the season does resume but it is very unlikely that we will be the only club to take such a step."