Bohemians intend honouring player and staff contracts/salaries.
We are living in extraordinary times and we hope that all of our members, supporters, volunteers, staff, players and all of your loved ones are coping as best you can during this period of great uncertainty.
As you know, we were due to have an AGM around this time of year and the board had pencilled in a date in mid April. However, due to the Coronavirus, this has obviously been cancelled for the foreseeable future until we are in a position to set a new date.
The main focus of the Board of Management at this time is ensuring the stability and sustainability of Bohemian Football Club and, at the same time, to look after our players and staff to the best of our ability.
At a meeting between all 19 league clubs and the FAI on Friday, a target date of June 19th was set for the resumption of SSE Airtricity League football.
The plan sees the league season extended by six weeks until December 4th and the final round of league games cancelled, which reduces the Premier Division programme from 36 games to 27.
Now that we have the league’s draft calendar in place, the confirmation of government support of €203 a week per employee and public indications from government ministers that further supports for employers/employees will be announced in the coming days, we can build a plan to protect the interests of both the club and our players.
As a members-owned club with a great relationship between our members, fans, players and staff, it behoves us to do the right thing and support our people as much as possible through these difficult times.
Therefore, we wish to clarify that it is our intention to honour all of our contracts/salaries with players and staff in full, with a small amendment to factor in that the season has been extended by an extra six weeks, which we are discussing with our management team and playing staff.
Obviously, the situation will be kept under continuous review as the ongoing developing situations in other countries at the moment have taught us that things can change quickly. If anything does, we will advise everyone accordingly.
We wish to put on record that it is only because of the hard work done in recent years, both on and off the pitch, and the continued support of the members and fans of the club, that we can fulfil our obligations to our players.
The revenue generated by the record number of members and season tickets sold this season has put us in a position where we can now protect the interests of our staff as much as possible.
Had this crisis hit in any number of previous seasons, we would have struggled to pay wages, let alone fulfil contracts in their entirety. Thank you all for your amazing support for ensuring we are on a more solid footing this time around.
Likewise, our sponsors have been tremendous and their ongoing support is crucial to the club in these difficult times. We now have partners rather than sponsors and we thank them for their commitment. Again, without their backing we would not be in a position to support our people.
We are no strangers to cashflow problems or seemingly insurmountable debt issues.
The hard work required over the past decade to get our club back on a sound footing is well documented, so we would like to express our solidarity with those clubs in the league worst-affected by this current situation. We hope that their supporters and communities help them navigate through the challenges ahead.
We know that many people’s lives have been turned upside down in the past few weeks and many more are facing great uncertainty.
In such circumstances, there are things much more important than football. But to those supporters whose circumstances allow, you can continue to support our club by buying merchandise or by signing up to our online lotto and, for those who pay membership subs monthly, by continuing with your standing order.
These will be our only sources of income over the next months until the season starts again. The economic effects of the current crisis and fewer home games as a result of the truncated league programme will affect our income streams.
But as was shown in the not too distant past, if we stick together and support each other we can overcome all the obstacles put in our way. This will be no different.
Take care of yourself and look out for one another.
We look forward to us all being together as one in the Jodi Stand on a Friday night again soon.
Board of Management,
Bohemian Football Club