Chief executive Steve Waggott says some members of club staff whose jobs are reliant on fans returning to Ewood Park remain on furlough.

Wage deferrals were agreed with the club’s senior management team, as well as playing and coaching staff, of between 33 and 55 per cent which allowed for all non-playing staff to continue to be paid 100 per cent of their salaries.

That included those placed on the Government’s job retention scheme, with owners Venky’s topping up the wages of those staff who were furloughed to ensure they got full pay in April, May and June.

The furlough scheme in its current guise is set to run until the end of next month, something Waggott says has been an ‘unbelievable help’ to both the club, and their employees.

Rovers had hoped the re-payment of wage deferrals to players and staff would coincide with the return of supporters, but such plans suffered a setback following this week's Government announcement that the phased return of fans was being pushed back from October 1.

All staff based at the Senior Training Centre, and the majority of those working out of the Academy site at Brockhall have now returned to work, however staff in sectors such as ticketing and retail, as well as concourse and hospitality, remain on furlough as the wait for a return of fans goes on.

“We are gradually just opening up the business as we need to,” Waggott said.

“The Senior Training Centre, nearly all the staff are back because we’re virtually fully operable.

“We’ve been able to open up the canteen, we’ve applied all of the social distancing measures and all the admin staff and support staff are back in. That’s one element.

“The Academy is coming back in stages. The scholars have been back a couple of weeks and now the other age groups are coming back so that’s a moving process and staff coming back to facilitate that demand.

“At Ewood, probably 50 per cent of the staff have come back, but we’re still waiting for when supporters can come back into stadiums to fulfil the whole complement of staff.”

The Roverstore remains closed and is likely to do so until fans are allowed back at Ewood Park, with the club encouraging supporters to continue shopping online.

On current staffing levels, the club's CEO said: “The end of October they’re saying it (furlough) going to end but I’m not sure if they will change their minds on that, there’s different pressures being put on because it’s been an unbelievable help to employers and employees.

“It’s meant that we’ve been in a position, thanks to the owners, to pay 100 per cent of staff salaries for March, April, May and June and then we reduced it into July and August, and then for September and October in line with the Government policy.

“There was a 10 per cent top up from employers this month and 20 per cent next month, so we’ve been able to be really supportive of staff who have gone through a difficult time.

“As a club we’ve done as much as we can possibly do and then we’ll have to see how we come out at the end of October.”

The Rovers players were praised for their willingness to defer wages as the club went into near hibernation after the initial lockdown in March, before returning to pre-season training in June ahead of the re-start.

Waggott said that was a decision to ensure the payment of all non-playing staff could continue, with a repayment plan now in place.

“We all took between a third and a 50 per cent deferral,” Waggott explained.

“We said that when supporters are back in the stadiums and we can generate revenue, or by a certain date, we’ll start paying back the deferral over an agreed period of time.

“That’s all underway and being covered. It was a gesture by some of us, and the players, that we could then afford to pay our staff 100 per cent of salaries which was the right thing to do.”

Rovers announced a new front of shirt sponsor last month, with Recoverite Compression bearing its name on the front of all home and away shirts for both adults and juniors, following the decision of 10BET to end their association after two years.

The club has since sold in excess of 1,000 shirts within the first week, and are now working to fulfil those orders, and hope to update supporters on when that will be in the coming days.

“It’s been really impressive how many we’ve sold already,” Waggott said. “It’s been well received and we’ll try and fulfil those as quickly as we can.

“From the shop point of view we have to look at our retail offering and how it is going to be fit for purpose going forward, but that’s under consideration, again we’ll have to have all the processes and protective screens in place before we open it up.

“Everything we do has a risk assessment attached to it and when we’ve cleared that we’ll have a look at the hours it’s open and when supporters can come in and buy various items.”