WANDERERS are struggling to strike an accord with their first team squad on the potential partial deferment of salaries.

April’s payments will be processed in less than a week and though the club say talks with their players and the Professional Footballers’ Association are “ongoing”, sources close to the club say progress has been limited.

Wanderers have confirmed that all non-essential football, hotel and non-football staff have been furloughed – and that the number does not include head of football operations, Tobias Phoenix, who, the club has reasoned, will be needed if the EFL succeed in their proposed plan to bring clubs back into training by the middle of May.

There remains a considerable amount of doubt that the timeframe suggested a week ago by EFL chairman Rick Parry, in which competitive football could return behind closed doors on June 6, is attainable.

Some reports suggest that clubs in League Two are pushing to end their competition early, with the final table, promotions and potential relegations completed on the basis of average points accrued so far.

League One’s situation is much more complicated, and though Wanderers’ fate is all-but resigned, teams at both ends of the division cannot be as easily separated.

UEFA are due to give an update today to the 55 member associations currently on hiatus and are expected to soften their stance on competitions ending early.

The prospect of playing behind closed doors brings up a number of ethical and financial problems which have divided opinion among the Wanderers support.

Bolton News columnist and BWSA chairman Alan Houghton believes fans could make the best out of a bad situation.

“My heart says let’s get rid of this virus, see where we are when lockdown finishes and then rebuild our lives from there,” he said.

“Football could restart with fans watching and finish the current season whenever the situation permits.

“Subsequent seasons could be put back and brought back to the traditional season dateline over a number of years. However, I accept things are not as simple as that.

“Without any form of income, many clubs could fold before we get the all clear from the virus. Sponsorship deals, players contracts, TV and other media contracts all add to the difficulties.

“Simply ending the season now and either voiding the season altogether or basing winners, promotions and relegation on current positions would be the best practice for health reasons but would lead to all kinds of anomalies and accusations of unfairness, no matter how it was done. It would also lead to be a big loss of income for the clubs.

“So, we are left with the proposed solution of playing games behind closed doors to finish the season.

“As a fan, I would not like it but I would accept it as it would make the best out of a bad situation. The obvious benefit is that the season would be completed and the winners, promotions and relegations decided by actual football.

“In Bolton’s position, we would be going down anyway but for many other clubs there are lots to be decided.

“The TV and other media would see their contracts fulfilled by the football clubs.

“How those games were made available for fans to watch would be very important. For season ticket holders, it must be made available for free. For non-season ticket holders, it should be made available on a pay per view basis but how you can achieve that, I don’t know.

“Undoubtedly there would be problems with the successful clubs in maintaining social distancing. How are you going to stop tens of thousands of Liverpool fans congregating outside Anfield when they win their first ever Premier League title or Leeds fans celebrating promotion back to the Premier League?”

He feels, however, that enough of the support would have access to internet streaming to enable Wanderers to make playing behind closed doors more financially palatable.

“I don’t think that many supporters will not have access to laptops, smartphones or smart TVs but inevitably there will be a few who would lose out,” he said.

“Playing behind closed doors will at least generate some much needed interest and news other than about the virus.

“We could have e-programmes, do on-line betting, get some Doombar in, order a takeaway and get Thogden to do a live blog to create a bit of atmosphere.

“I could even do a fans’ report afterwards. It will certainly be better than nothing and I would go for it.”