SOUTHEND United’s first team players have refused to be placed on furlough leave, Echosport understands.

Blues chairman Ron Martin placed six of the highest earners on the Government scheme shortly after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

And Martin made moves to place the remainder of the squad on furlough earlier this week.

However, footballers are unable to be furloughed without consent and the Shrimpers squad have opted to reject the request which means they will still be entitled to pick up their full pay packet.

Blues will be back in League Two next season but are still waiting to discover when the campaign will kick off.