Football

Sligo Rovers Have Temporarily Laid Off All Players And Staff Due To Covid-19

Sligo Rovers Have Temporarily Laid Off All Players And Staff Due To Covid-19

League of Ireland Premier Division side Sligo Rovers have today announced that they have temporarily laid off all staff and players with immediate effect due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The club have ensured that all members of staff will be eligible for the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment, with most of Sligo's contingent of foreign players returning to their home countries until further notice.

The club's management committee has stated that these measures were put in place in order to ensure the long-term viability of the club.

There was no option but to come to this conclusion in order to prioritise long-term employment both in football and administrative roles at Sligo Rovers.

We acknowledge ongoing efforts to find a solution from all parties and we recognise that it is an evolving situation. However we must act today in the best interest of our club in the long-term.

Sligo, like most League of Ireland clubs, rely on gate receipts in order to keep their heads above water. Moreover, Sligo's continued sustainability as a club is in large part down to concerted volunteering efforts which generate revenue for the club. With the League of Ireland looking as though it won't be able to resume until the summer, Sligo's income is heavily impacted accordingly.

The club has ensured that all players and staff "will be able to return to their regular wage upon the resumption of the League of Ireland".

Sligo Rovers are the first League of Ireland Premier Division club to take such measures. Drogheda United of the First Division made the decision to suspended payments to players and employees on Monday.

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Sligo Rovers are currently bottom of the League of Ireland Premier Division with 0 points from four games.

Read the statement in full:

Sligo Rovers have today reached the extremely difficult decision to implement temporary layoffs for all management, players and administration staff due to the shutdown of the League of Ireland for the past two weeks and foreseeable future.

Following intensive talks in the last week involving the National League Executive Committee, the PFAI and the FAI, along with receiving government guidance, the club felt there was no option but to come to this conclusion in order to prioritise long-term employment both in football and administrative roles at Sligo Rovers.

We acknowledge ongoing efforts to find a solution from all parties and we recognise that it is an evolving situation. However we must act today in the best interest of our club in the long-term.

Last Tuesday An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar outlined that the Coronavirus crisis would extend into a lengthy period.

This was an expected announcement and made it even clearer to us that League of Ireland football cannot resume until the summer at the earliest, and likely later.

Our income streams, like nearly all other businesses in the country, have been decimated and we simply cannot afford to function at our full cost level while having little or no income.

To do anything else would be reckless and would put the very future of Sligo Rovers under severe threat.

We have taken the following measures:

1) Club employees will be paid in accordance with government support for businesses forced to lay off employees temporarily. All staff have been informed of this.

2) All players and employees will be able to return to their regular wage upon the resumption of the League of Ireland. A date will be agreed in due course.

3) All staff have been put on this measure, no exceptions have been made, from the manager to players to administrative staff to ground maintenance personnel.

4) Players from outside of Ireland have been given assistance to return home and most have done so.

5) We will do our utmost to support our employees where possible over the coming months.

As a club we have operated as the most consistent completely full-time employer in the League of Ireland since our return to the Premier Division 15 years ago.

Taking this step today has been the hardest decision we have undertaken in our role of committee members, but we feel it is the correct one, we need to be decisive and show leadership to preserve our club.

We add that not one member of our board is paid in any way or receive any expense, many other volunteers give endless commitment to Sligo Rovers too.

Our priority has always been our club, and our staff, as an organisation immersed in and funded by the local community.

The road forward from this crisis is not a clear one, we know this temporary measure will have a major impact in the lives of our staff. We are taking it to ensure there is a future.

We also recognise the widespread business closures in the area which is very visible in any drive through Sligo town and county. The effects this will have on our community will be significant.

We know it will also bring great concern to our fans and sponsors. Our community and supporter base provides extraordinary support that defies logic and helps sustain our club.

Our promise as a committee is to get through this period and return with a sustainable and healthy Sligo Rovers.

 

SEE ALSO: 'They Suspended Me Again For A Tweet: Two Emojis They Said Referred To The Club'

Sean Meehan

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