Albion chief executive Paul Barber has provided the following update, following yesterday’s decision that all football in England has been suspended until at least 30th April.

Barber said: “Echoing the words and sentiments of all within the Premier League and other footballing governing bodies, the thoughts of all of us at Brighton & Hove Albion are with those affected by the coronavirus in these unprecedented and very difficult times.

“It remains crucial everyone continues to follow the Government’s advice with regard to self-isolation, in terms of symptoms, age or underlying health conditions; social distancing; hand hygiene; and the using and binning of tissues if coughing and sneezing.

“Yesterday all 20 member clubs of the Premier League reached the collective and unanimous decision to postpone fixtures through until 30 April, and at the same time made a firm commitment to resume and complete the 2019/20 domestic season as soon as it was safe and practical to do so.

“While we are very realistic that there is no guarantee we will be able to resume matches in six weeks’ time, the aim to finish the season is one shared by the The Football Association, the EFL, the women’s professional game, the PFA and LMA with regard to all domestic competitions.

“The FA’s regulations state all domestic league and cup competitions should conclude no later than 1 June, but in an unprecedented move – fully supported by our leagues and other governing organisations – The FA has agreed that this time limit be extended which would allow the completion of the Premier League, EFL, FA Cup, WSL, Women’s FA Cup and all English professional football beyond that date, should it be necessary and if it’s practical to do so.

Barber added: “In terms of what a revised fixture list might look like, it is too early to speculate. When the time is right we will be guided by the Premier League and local authorities as to how and when our postponed matches can be played.

“At this stage we must all accept there are many more pressing priorities than football.

“In this regard, I ask our supporters to continue to show the patience and humility they have since the start of this crisis and as soon as we are in a position to do so we will communicate more information to our supporters.

“Having postponed matches until at least 30 April, we have also postponed training at both Lancing and Sussex University for the next two weeks to limit the risk to our senior men’s and women’s squads respectively.

“Instead they have been issued with individual training programmes with the view to returning to training in mid April, and resuming playing action in early May for both teams.

“These programmes are to be carried out at home, and we are working with the players in both squads to ensure they have the right equipment supplied by the club to carry out those individual training programmes, which have been prepared by our technical director Dan Ashworth, head coach Graham Potter, women’s first-team manager Hope Powell, our coaches and sports science specialists.

“It’s been a challenge for everyone, but one which they have risen to with great professionalism.

“At the stadium and training ground, we have a small number of staff still coming in to work at the stadium.

“These are teams who are unable to work from home such as security, maintenance, grounds staff and supporter services.

“On behalf of the club, and supporters, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to those staff for going that extra mile, and taking extra precautions at each step, in order to help us to continue to operate where possible.

“The human cost of this crisis is already very significant from a health point of view. And the speed and severity of the financial impact on so many businesses and individuals is unprecedented.

“The club is not immune from either effect. Whilst our players and coaching staff have, thankfully, so far avoided illness, we continue to have other colleagues self-isolating, and we wish them, and everyone else suffering from the virus, well.

“The club is certainly not immune to the financial effects of the virus either. And, once again, we must thank Tony Bloom for his continued generous support.

“While the financial impact is clearly secondary to the health and wellbeing of our staff, community, and the population as a whole, we are working very hard to mitigate the financial damage to the club and to continue providing supporters with whatever services we still can, while following the essential medical advice.

“There have been some very long hours in the past weeks, and I’m grateful for the fantastic support I’m receiving from my executive team, who are also still leading from the office where it is appropriate, practical and safe to do so, and the club’s board.

“Our supporter services team continues to work on seat moves and processing new season tickets for those fans on the waiting list – and, once they complete that task and with the help of other staff whose workloads are reduced, they then plan to begin a telephone service checking in on our older supporters who are self-isolating at home – even if it’s just to chat about their experiences supporting the Albion.

“We are a community club and it’s a small but practical thing we can do to support people that mean a lot to us and who have been there for the club over many years.

“Our commercial team are in constant contact with our sponsors and partners to assist them wherever possible, and to look for ways to help them during these difficult times for all businesses, whatever their size; our people and culture team are working hard to look after the health and wellbeing of our workforce; our media team are finding new and creative ways to keep supporters entertained and engaged with new content ideas.

“Other departments across the business are continuing to clock in, log on and show their professionalism while working from home. Earlier this week we suspended Albion in the Community’s activities, but the charity’s staff are currently working to retrain via webinars, with the aim to potentially delivering various programmes via the same online method to our regular participants.

“We all look forward to the day when we are able to host and play football once again – and not just because we are able to restart our core business, and protect the jobs of so many people we employ directly and indirectly, but because our hope is it will be a sign that we are starting to win the fight against this virus, and provide a light at the end of the tunnel in what is arguably the biggest challenge the human race has faced in the last one hundred years.

“However, we must still remain realistic.

“The Government’s estimate of 12 weeks to start seeing progress in the battle against the virus offers hope, as does news of vaccine trials across the world, but while people continue to become sick in our country and others, the vaccine is unavailable and the virus continues to attack, we simply must continue to prioritise health, follow the medical advice, and look out for those who are particularly vulnerable.

“We must all play our part in restricting and slowing the spread of the virus.

“Finally, earlier this week I asked our staff to live by our club’s values, by looking in on any elderly or infirm neighbours – and I extend that to those of our supporters who are able to do so.

“I have already read so many stories of our supporters stepping up to help others in need, and that brings some light to these otherwise difficult and uncertain times for everyone. Kindness costs nothing.

“And we are fortunate to live in an inclusive and kind community.

“Never has our mantra of “together” been more important.”