Arsenal Football Club on Wednesday said it is proposing 55 redundancies due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.

The Premier League club’s head of football Raúl Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham in a joint statement said the club has been severely hit by the pandemic.

“The pandemic represents one of the most challenging periods in our 134-year history and we have responded promptly by implementing wide-ranging measures to reduce our costs,” the duo said.

The club said it aims to protect the jobs and base salaries of their staff but unfortunately it has “come to the point where we are proposing 55 redundancies.

“We do not make these proposals lightly and have looked at every aspect of the club and our expenditure before reaching this point. We are now entering the required 30-day consultation period on these proposals.

“Our main sources of income have all reduced significantly. Revenue from broadcasters, matc hday and commercial activities have all been hit severely and these impacts will continue into at least the forthcoming 2020/21 season.”

They announced that the players, senior football staff and executive team have volunteered for pay cuts and that the club has halted all capital spending, and other discretionary operating expenditure.

The pandemic, they said, will also impact the disposable income of the fans, the money corporate clients have to spend on hospitality and sponsorship, and the ability for broadcasters to invest in TV rights.

“Current indications are that we will not have fans back at Emirates Stadium for the start of next season and fans will only be able to return in limited numbers after that. The global economic projections are also very negative,” Sanllehi and Venkatesham said in the statement.

With the 2020/2021 football season starting in less than three months, Arsenal said it is imperative that cost is reduced to enable it to reinvest into the team.