ROVERS Finance Director Mike Cheston revealed there have been four compulsory redundancies at the club since since relegation to League One.

At Thursday night’s Supporters Consultation Meeting Cheston said that since April, 62 members of staff have left, 40 of which have been replaced, with five voluntary redundancies and 13 positions still to be filled.

The number of full-time staff employed by the club, not including matchdays, stands at around 250.

The compulsory redundancies follow an operational review by accounting firms KPMG and Deloitte who were brought in by owners Venky’s following relegation.

Cheston said many of their recommendations were in line with those made by the club themselves and insisted Rovers have tried to maintain the best possible infrastructure despite dropping in to the third tier.

He said: “The consequence of relegation, we could have had a slash and burn approach where we downsized our operations towards that of a League One club or we could have retained the structure and infrastructure that would align us to a club that is looking to get back to the Championship as soon as possible. That is what we have done.

“There have been five purely voluntary redundancies which we did not see coming.

“We have been able to retain the infrastructure but at the same time, as and when people have left, certain people have been promoted.

“Hopefully we have completed that process and that is where we are.”

The two accounting firms arrived at Ewood Park in May and their operational reviews took place over a four week period.

Cheston added: “They were brought in to look at individual efficiencies.

“At the time when the owners said they were going to do this, with two sets of firms, I thought it would have been a lot of work.

“I was sceptical what they were going to tell us that we did not already know.

“But having gone through the process we found a lot of value came out of it and many of their recommendations proved to be what we had already found.

“There was a big overlap of the two firms and there were no criticisms of how the club is being run.”

The most recent club accounts, published in February, showed that although Rovers had reduced their pre-tax losses by almost £16m, club debt still stood at more than £106m.

And Cheston said the owners are committed to the club, who remain reliant on their funding.

He added: “They are committed to the football club and as long as that is the case there is no risk of administration.

“Whether or not we get promoted is secondary to that.

“We are dependent on their funding and they are continuing to do that. There is no indication that will stop.

“Debt level is the owner debt, the risk is with the owners. The significant debt is with the owners and the risk is theirs.”

Cheston also confirmed he had been out to India to speak with the owners in June, but his dealings with them mainly came through Venky’s advisor Suhail Pasha.

He added: “Suhail deals with the owners and makes them aware of the issues at the club.

“He also liaises with a number of other people around the club and then reports to me.

“I deal with the owners through Suhail and the communication with the owners has improved significantly since his appointment.”