Waterford FC have become the latest League of Ireland team to temporarily lay off its players amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The club released a statement on their website on Monday as they follow in the footsteps of fellow Premier Division clubs Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic in the temporary layoffs.
Waterford manager Alan Reynolds, however, explained that he was shocked to hear of the news and that the method of communication used did not sit well with those laid off.
Reynolds said that he, the players and staff found out via email.
“I was surprised,” Reynolds told the Irish Independent.
“The first I heard about this was a notification from a player. We understand it’s a tough time but there has been no communication from the club to the staff or players before we got this letter.”
Reynolds also confirmed, when speaking to RTE Sport, that the players are “disgusted” by the way in which the lay-offs have been carried out.
‘I was totally unaware of this until I got a message from the players. Imagine being laid off like that after the service I have given to my hometown club?
‘The players, who are suffering like the rest of us, are disgusted by the way this was carried out.
‘I understand cuts are necessary, but is this the way to do it?
According to RTÉ, the letter which informed players and staff of the cuts was signed by Waterford general manager Jack Power, who is the son of chairman Lee Power.
The letter read: “This is a hard letter to be writing, of which, I would never have imagined I would be sending to you as employees of Waterford FC.
“With the current situation and continuing effect of COVID-19 the club has been hit hard financially due to the last game being 10 weeks ago.
“As agreed previously we have continued to make payments to all staff over these few months, however, after time to deliberate the board has come to the conclusion for the survival of the club we have no other option.
“Therefore it is with great regret that we have made the decision to ‘temporarily lay off’ all employees with immediate effect.”