Carlisle United's former Football League rivals Barnet have put non-playing staff on notice of redundancy in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

The National League club say it is part of attempts to "dismantle our existing cost structure" and try to prepare for the future.

Chairman Tony Kleanthous insisted he was "devastated" by the move but said it was done to protect the longevity of the north London club.

Barnet, 11th in non-league's suspended top tier, are unlikely to be the last club to consider dramatic measures as the game counts the cost of the coronavirus.

Kleanthous, whose club have been budgeting for a £100,000 loss in the hope of achieving promotion, has also called for the Premier League to support those lower down the pyramid.

In a statement, the club said: "We are in unprecedented times and as such, certain decisions have been made across the football group to ensure the longevity of Barnet Football Club.

"Over the past few days, we have taken emergency measures to preserve the Club and ensure it remains sustainable.

"Since relegation, we have seen a general drop in crowd attendances of 50 per cent, whilst general costs have increased resulting in operational losses of approximately £100,000 per month.

"The club budgeted for this cost in the hope of promotion but of course, at the end of April, all of our parachute funding will cease and we need to therefore make savings accordingly.

"In addition to these challenges, we have to consider the greater challenge of the impact that Covid-19 will have in the immediate and long-term future.

"In order to meet the challenges ahead of us, we will have to dismantle our existing cost structure and look to rebuild for next season with a much leaner cost base.

"We have therefore taken the difficult decision to put all Barnet FC 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."

Reports suggest this amounts to about 60 staff being laid off, but not head coach Darren Currie who, the club said, has a long notice period in his contract and as such will remain in charge "until at least the end of the season and possibly beyond".

Kleanthous said: “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.”

Carlisle United yesterday said they had a "cash cushion", as a result of player sales and their recent change of financial approach, which would help them through the early stages of the loss of games due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, in League Two, Macclesfield have seen their six-point penalty reduced to four points after an appeal.

The Silkmen had been docked six points, with a further four suspended, amid financial woes that saw the club fail to fulfil against Crewe.

An independent arbitration panel has now reduced that punishment, meaning two points are returned to their total. The suspended four-point penalty has also been reduced to three.

It means Macclesfield move up to 22nd in the table on goal difference, 10 points behind Carlisle.

They are, though, facing separate misconduct charges over failing to play a game against Plymouth, and over failing to pay players on time.

In a statement, the Moss Rose club said: "We would like to humbly thank the panel for their hard work in reaching this decision. We would also like to thank the EFL for their help, advice and transparency during this process."