HARTLEPOOL UNITED’S squad are to be put on the Government furlough scheme while football is on hold.

And while Pools recently made seven staff redundant – four on the football side, with two office staff and one member of the groundstaff – there are no plans to turn part-time, with chairman Raj Singh to continue to fund the operation.

The details have been revealed following a conference call with Mark Maguire, the club’s chief executive, and member of the club’s fans forum.

While there is a great deal of consternation over the future of the National League and the lower divisions of the EFL, Singh will carry on in charge of the club.

Costs are being reduced, hence the recent job cuts which saw the club’s physio, fitness coach and stadium manager being made redundant, as well the club secretary and media manager.

They come after another member of the media team, kit man and one commercial staff were paid off during the opening months of the season, while all matchday staff have been given their P45s, although they are expected to be re-employed on a casual basis when games resume.

The club is running on a skeleton staff, with Maguire admitting they will be looking for volunteers to assist in day to day running of the club, and on matchdays.

Staff still at the club – and as well as Maguire it is understood only two full-time office members remain, although a commercial appointment was imminent before the shutdown – will oversee the volunteering operation.

The minutes, released by the club’s supporters’ trust, read: “The reality is Mr Singh has invested significantly more than he ever expected and now is the time to bring the cost base down to a level at which he is comfortable moving forward. Even with a reduced staff level, losses in the National League are still likely to be significant per season if the club wishes to remain competitive on the pitch.’’

It adds: “Through a combination of local grants, we still have the option to draw down of next season’s League money (note this is not additional money), the furlough scheme and other matters the club are looking into we are confident of navigating the short term.

“The longer-term challenge is the main priority, and preparation of budgets for this is in progress.’’

Pools have just eight players under contract for next season, with a number of players out of their current terms by May 2.

Boss Dave Challinor will have the final say on which players remain at the club and he has previously spoken of his desire to keep loan players Gary Liddle and Mark Shelton next season on permanent deals.

The notes read: “The National League are still to decide the way to end the current season and while they had looked to follow the EFL, the reality of contracts in non-league (particularly for those players on 44 week contracts) and the reduced league funding means this is unlikely.

“It is also unlikely that football will resume in the next two to three months and the priority for the NL management is to protect the overall league as a competition.

“If the season were to end early, then there is a potential risk to the club in terms of sponsorship and ticket income and the club are planning for every eventuality in this regard.

“There are no plans to move HUFC towards a part time model or dramatically slashing the budget for the playing squad. A key interest of Mr Singh is that we remain competitive on the pitch.’’