NEWPORT County AFC have furloughed their players, coaches and staff because of coronavirus.

The Exiles are suffering a financial hit because of the pandemic, which has forced the indefinite suspension of League Two.

Michael Flynn’s side last played away at Carlisle on March 10 and have 10 fixtures remaining in their season.

“In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, and the suspension of all professional football, Newport County AFC is having to respond to the significant economic pressures it faces,” read a statement.

“Consequently, the club has taken the decision to furlough its staff and players.

“This decision has been made in order to protect the long-term financial viability of the club in what are unprecedented times.

"A skeleton staff will remain in work during this period to ensure basic club functions continue to operate."

The government’s job retention scheme covers 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month.

It is being reported that the Exiles will top up the rest of players' salaries and have opted against deferrals.

South Wales Argus:

Lower league clubs are braced for a huge financial hit because of the pandemic, although the Exiles are in a healthier position than many rivals thanks to recent cup exploits.

County reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2018, beating Leeds United and taking Tottenham Hotspur to a replay at Wembley.

Last season they went one better, reaching the fifth round after beating Leicester City and Middlesbrough and only bowing out to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Rodney Parade.

Flynn’s side made it to round three of the FA Cup this season, when knocked out by Millwall at the Den, and faced West Ham in Newport in the Carabao Cup.

Their knockout success has earned around £2million in prize money, broadcast fees and income from tickets.

“If we didn’t have those cup runs, we would be really backs-against-the-wall now,” said Flynn last month. “It would be panic stations all over.

“We’re probably one of the fortunate League Two clubs, but there’s many clubs out there who are going to really struggle.”

The move comes after an earlier announcement that players in Leagues One and Two would defer wages up to 25 per cent.

Weekend talks between the EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association led to a recommendation rather than a directive, although those earning less than £2,500 are not impacted.

A joint statement from the EFL and PFA read: “Clubs in League One and League Two have acknowledged the strength of a collective approach to support and inform their decisions.

“As a result of these discussions, it has been agreed that the EFL and PFA will form a working group of six club captains/PFA delegates from League One and Two, supported by a representative nominated by the PFA, to engage in dialogue in respect of players’ wages.

“While the working group will not be a formal negotiating body, it will help to ensure that players are fully informed as they continue to hold discussions with individual clubs.”

Last week the Dragons announced that they had furloughed the majority of their staff with others on reduced pay.

Wales' regional players have agreed a 25 per cent pay cut for three months, although it does not apply to those earning £25,000 a year or less.