Paul Barber says Albion cannot rule out placing non-playing staff on furlough leave.

But he hopes the decision of three key men to volunteer for pay cuts will help preserve jobs and wages at the club.

Barber, head coach Graham Potter and technical director Dab Ashworth told chairman Tony Bloom two weeks ago they were willing to take a “significant” cut in their wages for April, May and June That offer has now been taken up.

In a note sent to all staff, Barber explained “(This is) to help Tony to ensure none of our core staff suffer a wage reduction during this uncertain period for our business.

“We consider ourselves to be very fortunate to be working for the best of clubs at the most difficult of times, so it is entirely appropriate that we play a very small part in reducing the financial burden on Tony.”

Albion have not gone down the path trodden by four Premier League clubs so far in taking advantage of the government’s offer to pay 80% of wages to employees who are told they cannot work.

That remains the aim although there are no guarantees it can be fulfilled with uncertainty hanging over the game – and the nation’s economy as a whole – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to a video press conference yesterday, Barber added: “First and foremost, we all know what a difficult situation it is for people across the country.

“People are losing jobs, facing furlough and uncertainty.

“We felt the three of us are the visible faces of the club, along with the chairman, and we wanted to make a small gesture to help him through a difficult time.

“Hopefully it will enable us to protect as many jobs within our club as we can and support the chairman’s efforts to keep paying everyone for as long as we can.”

Premier League clubs were this week accused of living in a “moral vacuum” by Julian Knight, chair of the government’s digital, culture, media and sport committee.

Tottenham came under fire for furloughing 550 non-playing staff while reporting chairman Daniel Levy earned £7 million last year.

Barber said: “I can’t talk about what other clubs have decided to do or not to do.

“But I think we can certainly understand people’s perception that there is a huge amount of money at the top of the game.

“We also understand how awkward that is at a time where people across the country are suffering and we’ve got a major national emergency to deal with.

“For our part, we are doing as much as we can to look after our own staff and our business as a whole, and also our wider community.

“There have been a series of measures announced that have been designed to do what we can as a football club, but also as a leader in this community, to try to support people at a very difficult time.”

Albion have looked to keep communication levels and morale high among their employees.

They held what sounded like an upbeat full staff meeting on Monday via video link. Amazon vouchers were sent out last week and another treat was being lined up yesterday.

Barber added: “What we’ve got to do is make sure we do everything we possibly can to look after our football club and our charity.

“The priority is to keep as many people employed for as long as we can and ensure that those people don’t lose any of their wages during this process for as long as we can.

“We’re not saying anything at this stage is impossible. We haven’t taken a decision at this point to furlough staff.

“It is something that we are actively having to consider because like all clubs, and many businesses across the world, we’ve seen our income literally disappear overnight but our costs have remained.

“It’s something which we have certainly talked about and looked at but our intention is to try to maintain employment for our club and charity for as long as we can and to ensure they receive their full wages for as long as we can.

“We can’t rule anything out at this stage but we haven’t taken any firm decision either way.

“I can’t talk for the whole football industry and I can’t talk for clubs which have made decisions already.

“All I can say is our priority is to try to ensure that our club continues to be a significant business in the community.

“Indirectly, 2,500 people rely on us for employment across this area, so it is absolutely incumbent on us for us to do everything we possibly can to keep this business going and to ensure our staff continue to be paid.”