Workington Reds must plug a £20,000 black hole in their finances over the next few months, with the suspension of the season due to coronavirus causing many of the club's biggest income streams to dry up.

Reds have an anxious wait to see how the season will be concluded and whether their 10-point lead at the top of the Northern Premier League's North West Division will see them end up as champions.

But they also face the mammoth challenge of finding ways to bring money into the club, with the advice on social distancing and restricting mass gatherings making fundraising difficult while there is no matchday income.

Director Les Byers said the club had estimated that it needed to raise the five-figure sum to make up for the shortfall.

"As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Workington AFC find themselves in uncertain and unpredictable times," he said.

"Like numerous other clubs across the country, we cannot underestimate the massive problems we now face going forward through this prolonged period of disruption.

"Ironically, this comes at a time when our inspirational team sits firmly at the top of the league.

"This season we have all witnessed a remarkable turn around in our fortunes on the pitch under the guidance of our brilliant management team, led by Danny Grainger.

"This has truly galvanised everyone at the club and we move forward with renewed optimism, heralding a new, brighter future in our famous club’s history as we enter our centenary year of 2021.

"This should be a period of celebration for us all but without survival, there is no future.

"The board of directors have put in place timely and targeted measures to support the club during the next few weeks, but with all games now postponed and no real indication of when we will play again, our primary income streams have virtually disappeared.

"It appears this terrible situation is likely to continue for many months, rather than weeks, so we will quickly run out of funds.

"As a result, we would like to reach out to all our fans to donate whatever you can to help safeguard our future."We estimate we will need at least £20,000 to ensure our club remains where it was before the tragic arrival of COVID-19.

"When times improve – and they will improve – the Reds will still be here at Borough Park, thanks to all of your generous donations.

"Help secure the future for the next generations of our supporters."

Supporters have acted quickly to answer the club's call, with the Victory Bonds private members lottery, which holds a monthly draw, confirming yesterday that they have handed over £2,111 to help.

They tweeted: "The intention of this lottery is to help complement the playing budget.

"After the club's appeal to help raise money we thought it was only right that the club had this money now and they can use it how they see fit.

"Hopefully all of our members will understand and we thank you for the support you have given us."

And the Reds Independent Supporters Club has also come up with a way to generate cash, calling for fans to put their usual admission fee and half-time draw money into a pot every time they would have played a home game.

People who wish to donate to Reds can do so through the PayPal link on the club's website or via bank transfer to the account with the sort code 16-52-21 and account number 51872658, with donors asked to include the word COVID and their name in the reference.