Stephen Kenny has expressed sympathy with Cork City and Sligo Rovers as they deal with the harsh financial consequences of the League of Ireland shutdown.
The Ireland Under-21 manager said: "Our thoughts are with the players and staff at the two clubs at the moment, we're thinking about them. They're not getting paid so it's a difficult period. These are unprecedented times of course."
Assessing both clubs on the footballing front this season, Kenny said of City: "They've had hard times and a slow start but they are a very young team. The club is in a very different financial circumstance now but they can be optimistic.
"Gearoid Morrissey stayed with the club and he epitomises what I've liked about Cork over the last few years. His work-rate is incredible and he closes down the opposition at a rapid rate. John Caulfield's Cork were famous for that and he continues to do that throughout his career."
And the former Dundalk boss revealed a personal and family affection for the Bit O’ Red.
"Sligo is a great community club,” he said. “I would have spent a lot of my Saturday nights in Sligo over the years. Driving over from Inishowen to the Showgrounds. My wife would come on occasions and it is her favourite ground in the league.
"Last year, Liam Buckley rebuilt the team but then he lost the likes of Dante Leverock, Romeo Parkes, Kris Twardek and also John Mahon through injury. They had a difficult start but it's early days and it's an important club to the league, a great football town."
Kenny made the comments in the course of running the rule over all the Premier Division clubs during an in-depth interview about the League of Ireland which be shown on the SSE Airtricity League Facebook page at 8pm this evening, following which it will be available via FAI TV.