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FIFA setting up emergency fund...
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FIFA setting up emergency fund to aid football community amid pandemic

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

18:40 31 Mar 2020

FIFA will be setting up a fund to assist competitions and players that are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most leagues around the world have been forced to call a halt due to the ever-growing coronavirus pandemic.

With no matches being played clubs everywhere are taking a big financial hit with matchday and other various revenue streams now cut off.

In Ireland, the SSE Airitricity League has been suspended until April 19 at least although the FAI announced that they are targeting June 19 for a restart.

The suspension has led to some clubs here taking drastic measures in order to keep themselves afloat in the long term such as Sligo Rovers who had to lay staff off temporarily or in the case of Cork City and Drogheda United, suspending wages.

The Premier League will not restart until after April 30 at the earliest but two of its clubs have already taken measures which have seen the non-playing staff hit the hardest.

Tottenham, owned by billionaire Joe Lewis, through his investment firm Tavistock, have cut wages of non-playing employees and directors while placing them on furlough.

Newcastle United's billionaire owner Mike Ashley has taken the same action while players at both clubs are, as of yet, unaffected by the cuts.

In Scotland, Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge has reportedly told the club's players to accept a 50 per cent pay cut or see their salaries suspended.

While on Tuesday Celtic boss Neil Lennon says it's a possibility that wage cuts will be implemented at the club as early as next month.

A spokesperson for FIFA has told the news agency Reuters that they are aware of "serious financial problems on account of the coronavirus outbreak."

"This threatens to disrupt and impair the ability of FIFA’s member associations and other football organisations such as leagues and clubs to develop, finance and run football activities at all levels of the game, including professional, non-professional, youth and grassroots.

"It is foreseen that in many parts of the world a considerable number of persons involved in football including both men and women players will be left in extremely difficult economic conditions."

The spokesperson added that while a number of issues about how to distribute resources and implement on the plan remain to be resolved, they aim to have a scheme “agreed and announced in the near future.”

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