Club to honour player contracts amid COVID-19

As yet, no decision has been made by the Scottish Lowland Football League regarding the status of the current season as the country focuses on halting the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Lowland League Cup has been cancelled, while players have been unable to train for the past couple of weeks due to, firstly, Scottish FA guidelines on adhering to the Government’s Social Distancing policy and, latterly, the situation we find ourselves in now.

However, despite the uncertainty about the current campaign, the Board of Directors have made the decision to honour the contracts of all players, paying them in full up until their expiry dates – even if a ball isn’t kicked again until then.

“We have worked tirelessly to ensure that we protect the future of our club but, more importantly, support the welfare of our players and their families at this time,” said Chairman Brian Porteous.

“We are doing this simply because we believe it’s the right thing to do in these unprecedented times. We want Berwick Rangers to be a Football Club that players want to be a part of and I think gestures of loyalty such as this will be well received not only among our players, but in the wider footballing community too.”

With current Government policies putting a halt to all sport, Shielfield Park has been ‘locked down’ with immediate effect, meaning the ground is closed for day-to-day visits and operations, with no valuables or cash left inside it.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s scheduled Board Meeting will now take place on a video conferencing platform and, ahead of the meeting, the Chairman wanted to send the following message to fans:

“On behalf of myself and all of the Directors at the club, I hope you and your families are safe and well and are trying to devise a daily routine that puts your physical and mental health at the heart of managing your current day-to-day life.

“Nothing about this situation is ideal. We’re constantly craving information to see when we can start getting back to normal, but we’re accepting the reality that we’re going to be without football for a number of weeks – potentially months – as tackling COVID-19 understandably takes priority.

“But I’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everybody who has supported us since we came in two months ago. The backing the 1881 Fund has received has been incredible and, hopefully before the end of season – whenever that may be – we will surpass that £10,000 target!

“In the meantime, please stay safe and follow Government guidelines to stay at home during this outbreak. The sooner everybody stays at home, the sooner we’ll be rid of COVID-19 and can start seeing some football action again.”