Rovers say they have reached ‘a precarious point in the club’s history’ following the Government’s decision to push back plans to allow fans back to Ewood Park.

The club had already seen their hopes of staging a pilot fixture last weekend dashed owing to local Covid-19 infection rates, and while EFL clubs had worked towards a phased return of fans from October 1, that has now been pushed back indefinitely following the latest Government announcement.

Rovers say that is ‘a major blow’ which has put the club under even more financial strain having not had supporters through the turnstiles at Ewood since February.

Season tickets went on sale last week, and the club are asking supporters to play their part to help safeguard the club’s future amid the current uncertainty.

EFL chairman Rick Parry laid out the stark reality by revealing member clubs lost £50m by finishing last season behind closed doors, and doing similar in 2020/21 could see them hit with a further £200m deficit.

A Rovers statement read: “It is clear that the outlook over the coming months will be even more turbulent.”

Rovers fans who have already bought a season ticket, or do so before the return of fans to matches, will continue to get access to matches via the iFollow platform and receive a pro-rata discount against next season’s prices.

“For several months, we have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to put comprehensive operational plans and stringent safety measures in place ahead of the proposed return of supporters to matches from next month,” the statement read.

“The decision to suspend such plans comes as a major blow to all involved and puts the football world and clubs like ourselves under immense financial stress – more so than we have already encountered over the past six months.

“Without fans and without any commercial income coming through the door, from either matchday or non-matchday events, it is clear that the outlook over the coming months will be even more turbulent.

“Together, we can navigate through this difficult and unprecedented period, but we will need your support.

“We have reached a precarious point in the club’s history and, right now, every penny counts, as we try to keep moving forward against a backdrop of uncertainty and challenging circumstances.”

EFL chief Parry said the league was disappointed with the Government’s stance, just days after eight clubs held successful pilot matches where up to 1,000 fans were able to attend.

Similar pilot games have been shelved, with Accrington Stanley having been due to welcome fans to their home game with Oxford United this weekend.

“Staging professional football matches is one of the most heavily regulated areas of crowd management and any supporters attending EFL fixtures, in vastly reduced numbers, would have been required to adhere to social distancing and the rule of six,” Parry added.

“Therefore we are deeply frustrated that we will not be able to continue this work and, in doing so, gather the evidence to show that crowds can return safely to football and become an important financial lifeline for our clubs.

“Therefore, as a matter of urgency we now need to understand what the Government’s roadmap is for getting supporters back into stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.”