Hyde United manager Dave McGurk has urged supporters to back the club’s virtual matchday initiative, as the Northern Premier Division side face a significant cash shortfall.

With the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a shutdown of the professional and grassroots game, Hyde are one of the many clubs facing up to the prospect of considerable loss of income. As well as matchday income, this includes block bookings on the 3G pitch, and the club are launching a virtual matchday package where fans can purchase virtual tickets, programmes and food etc.

Manager McGurk has told the club’s website: “We have suspended training for the players while the leagues suspension is in place. We have done this to primarily protect the players and help prevent the virus spreading; it’s also very difficult to ask players to drive in when they will not be paid.

“They are a good bunch and they will keep on top of their fitness at home. It’s a situation that’s a difficult one to comment on.

“Football has to take a back seat and I’m sure everyone is missing it as much as I am. We were hoping for an exciting end to the season with two semi-finals to play.

“Let’s hope we can get back to it as soon as possible but there are more important things to worry about. As a club, we need help.

“I hope the FA will take action to provide support for non-league clubs, as I do fear that some will slip away without financial support. We will try to help ourselves in the meantime.

“I know things are hard for everyone at the moment but please take time and donate what you can afford to put to a Virtual Matchday Package. I hope we can see the season out and make it a memorable one for football reasons.

“Thank you for your support.”