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League clubs see hope in improved wage scheme

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St Pat’s owner Garrett Kelleher

St Pat’s owner Garrett Kelleher

SPORTSFILE

St Pat’s owner Garrett Kelleher

The FAI will hold another meeting with League of Ireland club and player representatives today after the announcement of the Government's new Covid-19 temporary payment scheme was greeted positively.

Full-time players that have been temporarily laid off by Cork City and Sligo Rovers should now be able to collect €350 per week.

Meanwhile, other clubs who have yet to state their intentions are weighing up whether a Government commitment to pay 70 per cent of wages of individuals earning up to €38k per year is enough to justify keeping their players on their books.

Clubs would be liable for tax and employers' PRSI but they would not have to pay that until the action resumes on the pitch and they generate income.

Therefore, the key question for clubs on the threshold is if they have the means to pay 30 per cent of the net wages between now and June.

It's understood that the FAI have been asked if it would be possible to receive advance solidarity payments from UEFA to ease the burden.

Affiliation

Abbotstown authorities are waiving the €17k affiliation fee that was previously deducted from prize-money payments.

League of Ireland champions Dundalk have confirmed their intention to keep paying players as normal after receiving assurances from their American owners, while Shelbourne are set to follow the lead of Bohemians by working out a payment structure that will factor in the proposed extension of the season to December.

Shamrock Rovers are expected to be in the same bracket as Dundalk, while Derry City will be able to benefit from the UK government's enhanced wage subsidy scheme.

St Patrick's Athletic have the considerable support of Garrett Kelleher as they consider their options.

Profile

Finn Harps and Waterford are the two clubs that would be closer to Cork City and Sligo Rovers in terms of wage profile and financial position.

A key aspect of their decision-making process will be clarity over the contractual situation of Cork City and Sligo Rovers players who are not being paid by their employer while football is suspended.

The clubs have not definitively clarified if their squad members will be paid all of the monies owed to them in their 2020 contracts; whereas Bohemians have offered that guarantee to their squad.

In theory, it's possible that Sligo and Cork players could become free agents unless a central agreement is reached.

Clubs that have delayed a decision are waiting to see how the league authorities view this scenario.