Cork City forced to lay off staff due to the Coronavirus shutdown

Cork City forced to lay off staff due to the Coronavirus shutdown
Daire O'Connor of Cork City reacts during the recent defeat to St Patrick's Athletic. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

CORK City have taken the decision to temporarily lay off the club's playing staff.

With the SSE Airtricity League suspended until at least June 19, City will suffer a huge hit to income as gate receipts are eliminated. 

As a result, the Rebel Army have said that players will be paid next week but not after that. It's thought that some essential non-playing personnel will continue to be paid.

"These are extremely difficult and unprecedented times," said City chairman Declan Carey.

"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.” 

City had hoped to introduce an initiative where season tickets would be offered at a reduced rate as two home games have been played already. However, the decision to cut the Premier Division season to 27 games has meant that this could not be implemented.

One positive has been the positive uptake on the Patreon scheme where past games are shown online. Monday sees the broadcast of the 2005 title decider against Derry City while more games will be shown in April and May.

A statement read:

"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.

"Since the cessation of football was announced, the club has been in active discussions, both internally and externally, regarding the effect the shutdown 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 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. 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."

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