Shamrock Rovers have announced that all players have taken a 25 per cent pay cut to help cope with the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Hoops, like all League of Ireland clubs, are reliant on matchday income to sustain themselves financially. And with the suspension of sport, they, like all clubs, have been put in a difficult position regarding income.
The FAI announced last month that they are hopeful of a return to play on June 19, with the remainder of the games being played between June and December.
But, with the league not predicted to return for another two months at least, Rovers have been forced to reduce staff and players wages by 25 per cent in order to safeguard the club’s longterm future.
“After a collective consultation with our Sporting Director Stephen McPhail, our first team staff, club captain Ronan Finn and subsequently the rest of the players we can announce that the first-team squad and staff have accepted to take a 25% wage reduction”, said Rovers manager Stephen Bradley.
“We recognise that they represent the most special football institution in the country and we have a responsibility collectively to play our part in safeguarding the club’s future.
“We’ve been in football a very long time and they are absolutely one of the best groups of people that we have ever been lucky to work with. They do not earn huge salaries. Like us all, they have mortgages to pay and bills to worry about. But despite that, they have shown the compassion, foresight and capability to recognise that it falls on us all to help protect a football club which is very close to our hearts.
“Win lose or draw, every Shamrock Rovers supporter should be very proud that these guys represent you. They are an incredible bunch.”
Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche released a statement of his own later in on Thursday evening. Roche thanked everyone involved with the club for playing their part at such a difficult time.
“Having been personally involved in the recent discussions, I would like to pay thanks on behalf of the Board, the membership and all supporters of our club to the players and management for their appreciation of our current economic position with little or no income coming into the club.
“This is a special group, a most talented group of players and coaches and to come to us and be prepared to help the club by offering to take a salary reduction is most commendable, in fact, it is unprecedented and I applaud and thank each and every one of the group for this tremendous gesture.
“As a club, we are completely aligned and pay great respect to the squad and management for their understanding and care shown for the club. We would also like to acknowledge and pay thanks for the ongoing support of our Sponsors and Members at this difficult time for all.”
I spoke to former Cork City manager John Caulfield for this about the financial worries for League of Ireland clubs over the coming weeks, and possibly months.https://t.co/w0zevfGwfK
— Robert Redmond (@RobRedmond10) March 14, 2020
Rovers also said that they were following developments with the government and the FAI regarding the timeframe to return to action. However, It appears it may be some time before live sport, with thousands of people in attendance, is capable of resuming.
Unlike other leagues with television deals, it also seems unlikely that League of Ireland matches can go ahead behind closed doors.