Newcastle United have become the first Premier League club to furlough their non-playing staff.
As things stand, Newcastle's first team and coaching staff all remain on their full salaries.
Football in England is suspended until April 30 at the very earliest as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Newcastle employees were informed via email on Monday morning to to sign up for the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 (€2,811) a month.
Premier League clubs are due for further discussions with the PFA as the reality of wage deferrals for players loom into view.
A joint statement last week said, "difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England."
Ashley's likely to come under fire for placing much lesser-paid workers on furlough before cutting the £100m wage bill of senior players and management.
On this side of the Irish Sea, Ashley has already drawn criticism from the Mandate trade union regarding workers at Heatons and Sports Direct.
Mandate claim some of their members were asked "to attend work but have reduced their hours from more than 30 per week to just four hours per week, which prevents them from accessing the COVID-19 payment or other social welfare payments."
Those affected by the Newcastle furlough are believed to include members of the club's charity wing, the Newcastle United Foundation.
Leeds United players voluntarily took a wage deferral to safeguard the jobs of lower-paid members of staff, while the likes of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have all taken wage cuts to protect jobs at their respective sides.