MORTON captain Jim McAlister believes that taking a 20 per cent wage cut was the least he and his team-mates could do as the Cappielow club battles to make it through the coronavirus crisis.

The Tele revealed on Saturday how Ton’s playing staff have been placed on furlough as the suspension of all football continues during the current public health emergency.

Ton have signed up to the UK Government's job retention scheme and the players will have 80 per cent of their wage covered by the state.

Skipper McAlister said: “Everyone has agreed to take a 20 per cent wage cut and go on the furlough pay, which helps the club going forward.

“It’s the least that we can do first and foremost as playing staff to make sure that there is a club to come back to after the break.

“Everyone has the club’s best interests at heart and it’s frustrating because at the time that the break was enforced, the club was starting to make bigger strides in getting to where it wanted to be and this has obviously stopped that momentum.

“But it’s important that we focus on helping the club being financially stable.

"Every business up and down the country is going to face issues like this and especially in smaller football clubs like ours.

“If the players can do anything to help then that’s equally important."

McAlister says he hopes the public will take note of players making a sacrifice to help save their clubs.

He told the Tele: “I do think that footballers are sometimes unfairly targeted.

"It’s only a small percentage that are on big wages and I hear my missus cracking up about it all the time - she’s maybe read something on her phone and she’s left saying she wishes folk would stop targeting football players because they don’t understand what it’s like at our level.

“It’s just a normal wage for us at the end of the day, so for some things like this can have a huge impact on them."

McAlister admitted his frustration at the timing of the shutdown but conceded that the health of the general public comes first.

He also called for the game's governing bodies to make a judgement call sooner rather than later to decide if the current season shall continue.

The 34-year-old said: “It was very frustrating that everything got cancelled, but it’s also understandable because everyone’s health and safety is paramount.

“I don’t know what the league are going to do, but they’re going to have to make a decision sooner rather than later.

“They had originally said about resuming games at the end of this month, but I think realistically this isn’t going to happen.

“I don’t know what the outcome will be because if the season was still going ahead as normal, we’d only have a few more games left and then the play-offs would be starting.

“I feel sorry for them, because whatever is decided they’re not going to make everyone happy.

“Whatever they do there will be clubs left disappointed and they’ll have to move on, but I don’t envy the people making the decisions one bit.

“I think maybe some countries were waiting for one to make a decision and then maybe follow suit, so the fact Belgium have made a decision is good and we’ll maybe see some movement sooner rather than later."

McAlister believes the crisis could also present an opening for a radical shake-up to make Scottish football better.

He told the Tele: “Now would be the perfect opportunity for the SFA to reconstruct the leagues if they wanted to.

“It’s the right time to start again from scratch.

"It will be interesting to see if something like that happens, because it would definitely bring a bit of hunger for when we all start back up.

“And hopefully when it all blows over, every home side will have a sell-out attendance, that would be nice to see.”