The Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland is in emergency talks with Airtricity League clubs after Drogheda United stopped paying players and staff as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
PFAI chiefs met representatives from the clubs and the FAI on Monday morning and were due to continue discussions throughout the day with the First Division club one of several to have been left in financial difficulties after the league programme was suspended until at least the end of the month.
Stephen McGuinness, general secretary of the PFAI, said: “We’ve been aware of it since last night.
“We met with the FA this morning and we met with the clubs this morning, so we’re in discussions now to see where assistance can be given to the clubs. That’s were we are.”
McGuinness added: “It’s our first division clubs, where the players would be part-time professionals.
“In the majority of cases, they would have other jobs, but the football wage would supplement that.
“We had discussions this morning and we’ll have further discussions this afternoon and this evening to see is there some way that we can find here a middle ground that can assist both sides, and can there be some assistance given to the clubs and is there a point that the clubs can get to assist the players before they have to cut off payments?
“That’s the discussion at the moment.”
Drogheda insist the players and staff will be paid once again once the season resumes and will still earn what they would have over the campaign, and say they had little choice to make the decision.
In a statement on the club’s official Twitter account, chairman Conor Hoey said: “We need to act now so that the club is financially ready to continue once the League recommences.
“We do not have any budgetary issues within the club, but this is about being prudent and planning ahead. We thank all staff and players for their understanding. We are all in this together.”