Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber has issued a message to all Brighton & Hove Albion staff in which he calls on staff to continue to remain calm and professional and states that the club's mantra of "together" has never been more important.

Barber wrote: "In the five days since I last wrote to you, the UK Government’s response to the Coronavirus has obviously changed significantly as the number of reported cases continues to increase rapidly. The actions being taken to contain the spread of the virus are multi-faceted, and we are all now beginning to feel the impact on our lives in a range of different ways. And, with our men’s, women’s and academy matches suspended at all levels until at least the 4 April and the majority of our staff now working from home, we are all facing up to significant changes to our daily routines.

"The impact on businesses and their employees in every industry and across the world is already very severe. In many cases, companies have seen revenues fall dramatically, or dry up completely, almost overnight. At the same time, they are continuing to incur their usual costs. It’s an unsustainable position for many businesses, and if people can’t attend our matches or we simply can’t play our matches at all, then the football industry is in a very similar position to any other.

"A common and much-touted myth is that matchday income is irrelevant to Premier League clubs. This is simply not the case. It’s as important to the bigger clubs with huge stadia and even bigger overheads, as it is to us. By the same token, our broadcast partners rely on our matches as Premier League football is a very significant income driver for them, and currently we can’t provide this vitally important and regular content to them or to their many thousands of customers, many of whom will be our fans too.

"Our various commercial partners pay us for the many different types of exposure we provide for their brands and business partners while preparing for and playing our matches, while our loyal supporters and corporate members pay us in very large numbers to watch top level sport and to entertain guests and clients. At this time, we are unable to provide any of these key stakeholders with what they have paid for, and this is a very uncomfortable feeling for everyone.

"Further down the football pyramid, the impact of not playing matches is even more devastating for the smaller clubs that play such an important role in their communities up and down the country, as they do not benefit from the high levels of broadcast or commercial income we receive. It’s not that long ago that our own club was playing in the lower reaches. We have certainly not forgotten the challenges we faced back then, so please spare a thought for our colleagues at those clubs as, like us, they wrestle very hard to manage their football clubs at the worst of times.

"In light of the Government’s most recent daily updates concerning mass public gatherings and the (entirely correct) decision to prioritise emergency services who would normally support us for the wider community, and UEFA’s statement today, we are currently seeking more detailed guidance from the Premier League as to what this means for us in practice, not least because as we have publicly stated it remains the intention of all clubs to complete the 2019/20 season.

"However, we must also be realistic. We must prioritise everyone’s health, we must ensure we recognise and respect individual human rights during a global health crisis, and we must continue to follow Government guidelines to play our part in restricting and slowing the spread of the virus.

"I fully appreciate that this is a very uncomfortable, uncertain and worrying time for you, and indeed your family and friends. I also understand that as businesses all over the UK, and many locally, start to feel the effects of the virus, and the media continues to highlight job losses and threats in all industries, you will be concerned for the impact on our organisation which, as I have explained, is affected as much as any other, particularly while we are unable to play matches.

"Please be assured that we are assessing ways in which we can mitigate the impact on our club of not playing matches, including any measures we may have to take if we face such a scenario for some time to come. We are due to join a conference call with the Premier League and other clubs on Thursday morning, and we will be doing everything possible to secure as much clarity as we can at this time. Either way, I will provide you with an update following this call and a planned update to the club’s own board on the same day.

"Finally, I am acutely aware that when our club has experienced difficulties in the past, or when there has simply been something important to communicate, I have stood in front of you, addressed you face to face, and taken as many of your questions as you had reason to ask. You will know this is by far my preferred method of communication but for obvious reasons, it isn’t possible at this time. However, please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail at any time if you have any questions or if there is anything I can help with.

"In the meantime, thank you very much for remaining calm and professional. Please take great care to focus on your health and that of your family by following the Government’s instructions at all times. And, if you can, please also truly live our club’s values by looking in on any elderly or infirm neighbours. These are very difficult and uncertain times for everyone. Our club is a community leader. We all have a part to play in fulfilling that responsibility. Never has our mantra of “together” been more important."