CORK CITY chairman Declan Carey says the decision to suspend payment to staff was not an easy one.
On Saturday evening, City issued a statement saying that players, staff and coaches would be paid in full next week but that the club was not in a position to continue doing so beyond that.
With the FAI announcing that the SSE Airtricity League wouldn’t be resuming until at least June 19 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, City said that they had “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.
“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 on Friday by the FAI that the league shut-down will last for a significant period until June 19, 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.”
Carey acknowledged that such difficult decisions had to be made with the long-term picture in mind.
“These are extremely difficult and unprecedented times,” he said.
“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.”
It is believed that some essential non-playing members of staff will continue to be paid during the period of inactivity.
City had hoped to introduce a special season-ticket offer, offering tickets at a reduced rate to take into account the fact that two home games had already been played.
However, the decision of the league to cancel the last round of Premier Division fixtures and have a 27-game season has meant that that plan was shelved.
On the positive side, there has been a positive response to the Patreon scheme where subscribers can watch classic City games online.
Monday night sees the showing of the 2005 Premier Division decider against Derry City while more games will be shown on Fridays in April and May.
The Club are asking all fans to subscribe to this scheme and, where possible, to keep supporting the club by purchasing merchandise and tickets for future games online now.