The Northern Ireland Football League has promised no club would suffer financially because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The League’s vice-chairman Gerard Lawlor, also the chairman at Cliftonville Football & Athletic Club, has said that
“every possible support”
would be given to all the clubs that are struggling financially during the lockdown in order to avoid a financial meltdown as the clubs have started to find it hard generating revenues during the current crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected sports leagues all over the world and just like the other top leagues in Europe, The Association also suspended the league indefinitely in early April and after a board meeting, it was decided that the shutdown would be extended until April 30. However, in an official statement from the IFA, it was confirmed that the league officials are fully committed to complete the Irish League season without promising any date since the virus is spreading at a very high rate at this point in time. The statement also promised full commitment to the completion of the 2020 Women’s Premiership season.
Regarding the financial issues, Lawlor said that talks and meetings have already begun to give support to the struggling clubs as the clubs are finding it difficult to generate any revenue with no gate receipts and other match day revenue. He said:
“The IFA is not only showing support to all the football clubs financially but has also helped the country by donating vehicles to deliver medical supplies. They have also offered Windsor Park as a coronavirus testing centre”.
The 18,500 seater stadium hosts the National Football Team’s matches and is also the home ground of the IFA Premiership club and also this season’s league leaders – Linfield. Linfield will be looking to maintain their position in the table once the league resumes, as they have not confirmed a single positive case yet. The support provided to the clubs by the league will certainly help them a lot to recover, continue the league and maintain a budget for the summer transfer window.