Directors and staff at Carlisle United have taken a 20 per cent wage reduction while colleagues at the club are furloughed, Nigel Clibbens has revealed.

The Blues chief executive says employees are “all in it together” as the club tries to negotiate the latest stage of the Covid-19 situation.

Clibbens said that, unlike in the first lockdown, the club had not been able to commit to topping up the wages of those staff who have recently been placed on furlough at 80 per cent of their regular income.

The chief executive said he and fellow director Suzanne Kidd, as well as other administrative staff at Brunton Park, have accepted wage cuts in the meantime.

Speaking before today's announcement of a Premier League bailout package for EFL clubs, Clibbens said: “On the cost side, we have to be really strong and take some tough decisions – that means looking after every single pound we have coming into the club. Sadly that means furloughing some staff.

“We’ve been honest all the time. This time we haven’t been able to make the commitment to paying the staff the full value, so they are having to take 20 per cent reductions from the furlough the Government are paying [80 per cent of wages].

“But what we have said is, 'We’re all in it together'. Even directors have stepped in and done the same. We’ve had to play our part to save the club money as well. 

“On the admin side, myself and Suzanne have had to do that, and we did the same for staff. We said anybody who’s furloughed and the club couldn’t pay the full 100 per cent but only 80 per cent – it’s the same for me and Suzanne.

“Everybody who’s involved in administration and not in football has had to do that. 

“You’ve got to do what you need to do, and every pound matters. When I say it’s tough, it’s tough for everybody. 

“It has to be flexible, but we’ve all been faced with that. Without exception everybody we’ve asked have played their part, however big or small.

“Some people have more workload than others but everybody has done it.”

The wage reduction does not apply to the football side of the club, Clibbens said, with management, players and coaches still on their full salaries.

“It’s driven by workload,” Clibbens said. “The fact is we haven’t had the [admin] workload to justify the hours, whereas on the football side they’re working as normal, doing their normal things.

“The contribution they all make is by winning football matches, creating excitement, getting us to a stage where fans want to come back and we can all be successful together.

“Everyone plays the part at the right time and does what’s best for the club.”

Clibbens said he could not praise highly enough those staff who had been called in from furlough at short notice to help sell tickets and prepare for Wednesday night’s game against Salford, when 2,000 fans were back at Brunton Park under Tier 2 Covid-19 rules.

The Blues and their fellow lower-league clubs received a boost today after it was confirmed the Premier League and the EFL had agreed a bailout package.

That will see United receive an initial £250,000 grant, with more cash available depending on lost income calculations.

Speaking before that news emerged, Clibbens highlighted the continued drain on resources as an effect of having played a number of games without fans.

Clibbens said: “I said in June and July that the absence of crowds meant that the club was suffering lost income of around £150,000 per month.

“We’ve had March and April, when we didn’t finish the season, we went through the summer when we have less income anyway, then into this season and we’ve had three months more.

“So that makes five months where we haven’t had the benefit of commercial, fan and matchday income. That’s probably added up to £750,000 on that basis. 

“We can mitigate that with some iFollow income and some self-help measures, in terms of furlough and things like that, but they only play a tiny part against that huge lost income. 

“That has to be paid for. Over the summer we had to take tough decisions on player costs as we always have to. We saw some players leave who’d been here last season, and reshaped the squad. 

“Ultimately we have to pay for that £750,000, [and] that comes out of our reserves of cash, which have come from previous player sales that, in the normal cycle of things, are there to fund the club at the times when you don’t have those player sales.

“Those reserves are dwindling quickly. I’ve used the word ‘haemorrhaging’ before and that’s a good word for it. Every month that goes past, our bank balance shrinks by a six-figure sum. That can’t go on.”

Clibbens said having 2,000 fans back at home games “reduces the speed at which that cash is burned” and having more supporters back in due course was the only way clubs could fully rebuild.

“It reduces the monthly loss but it’s still a huge number every month until we get more fans back,” he added.

Clibbens, meanwhile, said “nothing has changed” regarding the Edinburgh Woollen Mill situation at Carlisle.

Philip Day’s firm have loaned the Blues £2.1m since 2017, that amount secured against the club’s assets.

It has not yet been clarified whether the collapse of some of Day’s empire into administration could have implications for United.

“Nothing’s changed as far as that’s concerned at all,” Clibbens said.

“It’s not something we can control ourselves right now, so we just carry on.” 

United are understood not to have drawn on the EWM loan facility for more than a year.

Clibbens, meanwhile, added that should Carlisle eventually move into Tier 1 of regional Covid restrictions, and duly be allowed 4,000 fans in Brunton Park, it would make a huge difference.

He added: “If you look at the economics of 2,000, 1,700 of those are season ticket holders, they’re paying a reduced ticket price because of the commitment, a number of those have already paid in cash already, so we’re getting no extra cash coming in – they’re swapping from one service to another. 

“Once you get past 1,700, every ticket is a full-priced ticket, accounting for concessions, and going from 2,000 to 4,000, you’re looking at 2,000 extra people and a ticket yield for those paying matchday prices of maybe £15 a head – so you’re getting £30,000 extra cash in. 

“The fixed costs of extra stewards are pretty minimal, but the marginal gain of the extra 2,000 is a huge difference.

“So if Carlisle could move to Tier 1, and we can get 4,000 here, the economics change considerably and we’re getting back nearer to what we would consider normal attendance. 

“It still wouldn’t be our average for last season, but it makes it more manageable.”