English League One club Sunderland has been forced to put its first-team squad, academy players and backroom staff on furlough leave, as the club undergoes some financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club has however promised to ensure all those affected will be fully paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will see the government pay 80 percent of a furloughed employee's wages capped at £2,500.
A club statement read: "Sunderland AFC can today confirm that its first-team players, contracted academy players and backroom staff have recently been placed on furlough leave due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Last week, the FA, the Premier League, and the EFL announced they would be collectively postponing their competitions until such time that it is safe for them to resume.
"At this moment in time, SAFC has no intention to ask any players or staff to take a wage reduction or deferral on their salary, and the club remains fully committed to ensuring all employees are paid in full.
"A small number of staff, including manager Phil Parkinson, continue to work from home, and the club’s priority remains the health and wellbeing of its players, staff, supporters and local community during this unprecedented period."
Some Premier League clubs have also decided to use the government's scheme to pay its workers, namely Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, and Norwich City.