THE FAI Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn has expressed sympathy for League of Ireland club struggling to pay their players in the current Coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to FAI TV, Quinn said they are on hand to help clubs where possible, though across the last week Cork City and Sligo Rovers are among the clubs who are now unable to keep paying wages with no games on the horizon until at least mid-June.
“I don’t think they want to play behind closed doors. We don’t have lucrative TV deals to make up for that happen.
“We need to be playing with crowds and the system works that way. There is a lot of talking to be done with the stakeholders.
“We’re here to do that talking. We’re here to help in any way we can.
“It’s difficult for players but when you take a peep outside football and see the devastation, talk of 200,000 being let go, it’s a nationwide problem, it’s awful.”
Cork City have been innovative in their approach to raising cash to tide them over, releasing a new red jersey for sale online, while also starting a streaming service screening classic matches for a €25 per month fee, which cover four games.
However, that can’t compensate for the fact the majority of clubs don’t have the resources to cover a long gap between home ties.
“How do we best prepare our clubs and players for it and assist them with it?
“We’re wading through it right now, there is a lot of discussion, there is huge sympathy for what’s happening out there.
“We’re hoping that repaying owed fees will help, in other ways, we can find some more revenue-creating opportunities for clubs.
“UEFA’s desire to get domestic football finished by June is aspirational.
“We hope that that’s correct and obviously we’re different in that we’re a summer league. So for our League of Ireland clubs, there is a difficult time for all.
“And they are meeting again to discuss this, we’re meeting with them and the players’ representatives as well regularly with the steering group.
“We’re all worried, we’re all hoping to find some pathways through this very difficult time.”