Newcastle Falcons have placed all the club's players and staff in unpaid leave following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The decision follows due to the pandemic coronavirus as the Rugby Football Union has cancelled the remainder of all the domestic competitions except for the Premiership in the 2019/20 season.
The Falcons were the clear leaders in the second tier Championship competition with an 18-point lead over second positioned Ealing Trailfinders but now will have to wait to see if they gain a promotion back to the top tier.
The Falcons sent a letter to the staff members requesting for a formal consent on the issue and denied to give a time frame on when things will return to normal.
“We hope that we will be able to facilitate a return to work once government advice and the business need supports this,” reads Newcastle’s letter.
“However, we must acknowledge the current uncertainty and the constantly developing landscape and we cannot offer any assurances or timescale at this stage.
“The company acknowledges that this is a difficult time for all employees across the country, but the support provided by the government is welcomed and I am sure it will provide some reassurance to you during this difficult time.”
Earlier, Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards slammed his Ealing counterpart Ben Ward for considering legal advice over the possibility of the club gaining promotion to the Premiership following the cancellation of the remainder of the competition.