Dundalk FC have confirmed their intention to all players and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the SSE Airtricity League not due to return until June 19th, with the FAI reaffirming their commitment to that start date again on Tuesday.
In a letter sent to all club employees including players, coaches and off-field staff on Saturday, the Board of Directors said ‘no member of Dundalk FC is stressed about losing their job and wages.’
‘We are proud of all of your efforts thus far to instil a sense of stability and community as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world,’ the letter stated. ‘The world is a very different place than it was a year ago, a month ago and even a few weeks ago. Times like these bring uncertainty and stress to us all.
‘Although these are stressful times, the Board of Directors would like to make sure that no member of Dundalk FC is stressed about losing their job and wages. You will all continue to be paid and the Board of Directors is committed to keeping stability in your daily lives and homes as we all get through this difficult time.
‘We also want to thank our loyal sponsors for being there with us through the suspension of play. We also want to thank our season ticket holders for their ongoing support. Without the commitment of our sponsors and season ticket holders, we would not be able to make this commitment to our employees,’ it continued.
The commitment of the reigning SSE Airtricity League champions to continue to pay all staff comes at a time when the government have announced plans to spend €3.7 billion on emergency Covid-19 related social welfare payments and wage subsidies over the next 12 weeks.
On Tuesday afternoon, the FAI said regular meetings are ongoing with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the PFAI to help clubs and players through this period. If SSE Airtricity League Football does not return until June 19, 103 days will have passed without any domestic football in the country.
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Drogheda United were quick to stop paying players and staff. Club chairman Conor Hoey contacted players and coaches to tell them they were no longer going to receive payments for the duration of the league shutdown on Sunday, March 15.
The move was criticised by the PFAI, who said no players, coaches or the union were consulted prior to the decision being made and communicated.