League of Ireland club St Patrick's Athletic have announced they are to temporarily lay off their players and coaching staff due to the pandemic.
The Inchicore club have released the following statement:
It is with considerable regret that the Board of St Patrick's Athletic FC, following extensive deliberation, announces that as of today it has been left with no option but to temporarily lay off its playing and coaching staff.
The Board has carefully considered statements made over recent days by Government Ministers and public health officials which make it clear that sporting events involving large crowds, and therefore League of Ireland football as we know it, are most unlikely to re commence until Autumn at the earliest.
We completely understand and accept the rationale for these statements, given the devastating effects of the Coronavirus and the absence to date of methods to prevent its transmission other than through social distancing. We accept that the preservation of the lives and health of our community must take precedence over other concerns.
It is nearly 7 weeks since our last game. We have had virtually no income since then and this will remain the case until it is again possible to play in front of large crowds. The Board had been working on the assumption that this could happen in June, as planned by the FAI and the National League Executive Committee. Thanks to the agreement of our players and staff who agreed adjustments to their contracts, we have up to now maintained everyone in employment. However, it is impossible for us to continue to do this when it is now uncertain that football, and our budgeted income stream, will resume at any time this year. It would be imprudent for us to attempt to do so and would jeopardise the survival of our club. We cannot take that chance.
Like all supporters, we hope the bleak outlook currently facing sport will improve sooner rather than later, and we look forward to the resumption of training and playing as soon as it is feasible to do so. When there is greater clarity on this, and on the arrangements for completing the current season, we will be in a position to address our commitments to all our stakeholders to include Players, Management, Coaching Staff, Volunteers, Patrons, Season Ticket Holders, Sponsors, our Academy and all the St Pat's community.
In the meantime, we will continue to engage with the entire St Pat's Family through our social media and community programmes.