Mark Palios: Tranmere redundancies decision 'immensely difficult'

Rovers relegated to Sky Bet League Two on Tuesday; Owner Mark Palios hopes he can one day re-employ those who have lost jobs

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios believes the proposed Points Per Game system should not be used in League One
Image: Tranmere owner Mark Palios has expressed sympathy with those made redundant

Tranmere Rovers owner Mark Palios has described the club's decision to inform approximately 20 members of staff that their positions will be made redundant from the end of July as "immensely difficult".

Palios made the call after the news that Tranmere had been demoted to Sky Bet League Two - following a vote by their fellow clubs to curtail the 2020/21 season based on points-per-game due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis - and hopes that one day he can re-employ those made redundant.

"Tranmere Rovers Football Club regrets to announce that, as a consequence of the financial pressures caused by the suspension of all football in the country, which pressures were exacerbated by the EFL's decision yesterday to terminate the League One season and demote the Club to League Two, approximately 20 staff have been informed that their positions will be made redundant from the end of July," read a statement on the club's website on Wednesday.

Image: Tranmere were three points off safety when the season froze, having played a game less than 20th-placed Wimbledon

"With no prospect of an early return to football in front of paying crowds, the Club's income streams are hugely reduced, potentially into 2021.

"As a consequence, the Club has made this incredibly difficult decision with a very heavy heart to ensure the Club's financial security during these unprecedented times. The Club will be making no further comment."

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In an interview with Sky Sports News, Palios explained the decision further, expressing his sympathy for those who had lost their jobs, including some who had been "long standing servants" for Tranmere.

"Today I sat down and analysed the options we had," he said. "There was certain things we had to do, like press the button on redundancies. While it sounds cold and calculating, it's what we had to do.

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"It's a very emotional decision. It's never easy, especially when they are people you don't really know, because you haven't worked with them for a long period of time.

"Some of the people who went today, they are long standing servants to the club. That is immensely difficult.

"I know this club. I know we will do well going forwards. Today was a sad day, and hopefully one day we can re-employ some of the people we have had to let go."

Tranmere 'disappointed, if not surprised'

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Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart fears a number of clubs could go into administration by Christmas unless they are offered financial support.

Palios has previously stated his dissatisfaction with deciding which teams would be relegated by determining the League One standings on a points-per-game basis.

He said he is "disappointed if not surprised" with the outcome and considering the "next course of action".

"I have lost count of the number of chairmen who have sympathised at the unfairness of our plight, whilst still voting for it," he said. "However, sympathy doesn't pay wages or assuage a deep sense of unfairness.

"I have no doubt that we would have survived had we been able to play on."

Palios expects a £1m drop in income on top of lost revenue from gate receipts. He said the "inevitable" reduction in staffing numbers left him "sick at heart".

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