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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Cork City to stop paying wages of players and staff

With the League of Ireland on hold, the club have failed to find a means of replacing the revenue that would have been generated by match days.

Cork City have announced that they will stop paying their players' wages.
Cork City have announced that they will stop paying their players' wages.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

CORK CITY HAVE announced that the club will not be paying wages to players and staff after next week, due to the ongoing suspension of the League of Ireland.

The League of Ireland has been suspended since 12 March due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

The club released a statement confirming that while all players and a number of staff and coaches will be paid as normal next week, they will not be in a position to continue payments after that date.

Cork are the latest club to make such an announcement as League of Ireland teams struggle for income due to the absence of any match day revenue.

First Division clubs previously announced they would stop paying players who are on professional terms, while on Thursday, Sligo Rovers confirmed they were laying off staff.

Despite already engaging in a number of initiatives to generate income, Cork said they have come to the decision in order to secure the long-term future of the club, with no means of replacing the revenue that would have been generated by match days.

“These are difficult and uncertain times for everyone and our thoughts are, first and foremost, for the well-being of our players, staff, supporters, sponsors and the wider community,” a statement read.

“Since the cessation of football was announced, the club has been in active discussions, both internally and externally, regarding the effect the shut-down would have on the club. There have been ongoing talks between the National League Executive Committee, the FAI and the PFAI, along with regular communication between all Premier Division clubs via the Premier Clubs Alliance. It is our fervent hope that all of these parties will continue these communications and will arrive at a solution regarding support and/or funding for clubs during this crisis.

“However, as it was announced yesterday by the FAI that the league shut-down will last for a significant period until June 19th, and that the number of games will be reduced, we also have to act in order to secure the long-term future of the club. Attempting to balance our duties as an employer with our responsibility to safeguard the club has been an extremely difficult proposition.

“The club has been working on a number of initiatives to generate revenue and, while we are immensely grateful for the support we have received thus far, this comes nowhere near replacing the revenue that would have been generated by playing matches.

“To that end, the club has informed all players and a number of our staff and coaches that they will be paid in full, as normal, next week, however, the club will not be in a position to continue paying their wages beyond that point. We will work with our staff with regard to the recently announced government funding for workers affected by this unprecedented crisis and do everything we can to help and support them.

“We believe that this action, while regrettable, is the most prudent approach we can take to ensure that the club will be in a position to offer employment once the football resumes.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support and assure them that we are doing everything within our power to manage this situation in the best interests of our club and it’s employees.”

Chairman Declan Carey added:

“These are extremely difficult and unprecedented times. The board has daily discussions on the latest financial position of the club and this decision was not an easy one. We are responsible to our shareholders to make these difficult decisions in the best interests of the overall future of the club. We hope things can return to some level of normality soon, however, we urge all our supporters to continue to help the club through this next period of uncertainty through buying merchandise, and supporting our online fundraising initiatives.” 

The League of Ireland is targeting a resumption of games on 19 June amid the coronavirus crisis, following talks on Friday.

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