Albion have opened up the books for their players - and showed them the big part they can play to weather the Covid-19 crisis.

The club are discussing a pay cut or deferral with the squad through their PFA representatives Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray.

They have explained exactly how fast action can help save jobs of their non-playing colleagues.

Paul Barber said he is proud of how they have responded and described the talks as positive and constructive.

Barber, the club’s deputy chairman and chief executive, and technical director Dan Ashworth have been in contact two or three times a day with Dunk and/or Murray.

The key words have been transparency and communication.

Barber said: “We showed them very clearly what our financial position would have been before this crisis.

“We projected a loss. We lost money last year. We were open about the losses. We were also open about the potential loss of income through this crisis.

"That was either going to be through not playing any more matches this season, which is obviously the worst scenario and one we want to avoid, playing games behind closed doors, which means we would lose the normal matchday income we would receive.

“Or, if we were very lucky at some point in the future, restarting the league with matches with a full crowd. But, if that was going to happen, it would be many weeks away.

“What we have said is if we can take a cut on wages to reduce the loss of match day income, that would be a significant help to us.

“If, on the other hand, at some stage in the future we recover that matchday income by playing those matches in front of a crowd, then we would simply return that money.

“At the moment, because it is so uncertain and our costs are so high and our income has stopped overnight, we need help now and they totally understand that.

“We have shown them all the numbers and how they break down.

“We have given them a complete picture of what the monthly wage bill is for our club.

“Also what the monthly non-player wage bill is. They can see that, if they did make a contribution, how much that would go towards supporting the jobs of their colleagues in the club and, I know, they support and value those people very much.

“ They have asked very good questions. They can see the money would go to supporting the club at a very difficult time.

“It has been very apparent to them.”

Barber believes the time has come for clubs to talk in-house after initial suggestions of a mutual pay cut agreement.

He said: “We don’t have collective bargaining. It’s not for the PFA to negotiate with clubs on players’ contracts, it’s not for the league to negotiate with the PFA on behalf of the clubs.

“What the PFA and the league tried to do was to create a framework, a sense of how things could be worked through, but it was always going to have to be done on an individual club-by-club basis.

“We are the employers, we have got individual contracts with our players. Those contracts are different to normal employment contracts.

“Variation of those contracts can only be in agreement with the players and the only parties able to vary those contracts are the players and ourselves.

“It was always going to come down to individual clubs trying to negotiate from their own positions.

“Each one of those positions is going to be very different so it makes sense we are engaged in our own conversations with players.

“I have been very proud of our players.

“I have been proud of the way they have responded, I have been very proud of the information they have asked for, the questions they have asked.

“I have been very pleased with the seriousness with which they have taken it and also the constant dialogue.

"There has not been a day that has gone by since Saturday that myself and Dan and Glenn and Lewis haven’t spoken on this at certain stages in the morning, afternoon and evening just to keep each other informed of where things are and to make sure as much information as they need is in front of them.

“I think at a time like this, it is good to be transparent, it’s good to talk. Then you don’t have a confrontation.

“This isn’t a negotiation, we are trying with our players to find a solution which helps the club at a difficult time but, at the same time, respects the fact player have contracts which are guaranteed.

“We are just trying to find a way through that which suits everyone.”