STUART McCall feels that furloughing staff is the necessary call to protect lower-division clubs in football’s financial crisis.

The absence of any income while the sport remains shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic is making it particularly tough to cope for those further down the league ladder.

City are among a growing number of sides to use the newly-created job retention scheme, with the government pledging to cover 80 per cent of the wages up to a value of £2,500 per month per employee.

The club will top up the remainder of the salaries for those who have been placed on furlough.

McCall still remains working from home, but believes it is the most sensible solution during this worrying period when money within the game is so tight.

He said: “It’s a good call to protect jobs. The majority at our level need to do it.

“I can see the argument with Premier League clubs, although they’ve obviously got bigger outgoings. It’s all in proportion.

“You don’t want to see anyone taking advantage of this furlough scheme. Hopefully everyone has got a conscience.

“But it’s reasonable to accept that clubs in the lower divisions will be doing it.”

City have already been given a £164,200 relief payment in line with the FA’s £50 million short-term aid package for the lower divisions. There is also the opportunity to borrow up to another £120,000 as an interest-free loan.

And they are in line for a further cash boost, thought to be in the region of £200,000, from the Premier League emergency fund that has just been announced.

The money for clubs in the EFL and National League is set to help towards paying wages while there is no football going ahead, but cashflow for everyone is still a struggle.

The Bantams are not expecting to be paid back through the government scheme for another two months.

City took part in a conference call with the EFL and other League Two clubs yesterday to keep them in the loop with what the authorities are thinking.

Player contracts and loan agreements were among the items being discussed, following FIFA’s recommendation that deals due to expire in the summer should automatically be extended for however long it takes to complete the season.

Things are still suspended indefinitely until the governing bodies are given an indication from the government that it would be safe to consider starting again.

But EFL chairman Rick Parry has written to clubs with his plan of how to finish the season in a 56-day timeframe, including two-legged play-off semi-finals and finals.

He has suggested that nobody returns to training before May 16 at the earliest, with the campaign then resuming in June. All games would be played behind closed doors.

It is coming up to five weeks since City’s last game against Salford and training was stopped on March 14.

McCall added: “I know they are having regular meetings about everything, contracts, loan players etc. But nobody can put a timescale on this.

“Everyone has got a grasp of that now. It’s no good trying to kid ourselves saying we’ll be back for this time or that.”