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Players and staff at AFC Sudbury praised for agreeing sacrifice deal to help get club through other side of football's Covid-19 lockdown




AFC Sudbury chairman Andrew Long has heaped praise on the playing and coaching staff for agreeing to wait for their wages as well as taking a pay cut to safeguard the immediate future of the club.

With the coronavirus pandemic tightening its grip on the football world, last week saw voluntary redundancy offered out to people.

It followed Mark Morsley opting at an emergency finance meeting to show the way forward by being first out of the door, also relinquishing his position on the board of directors.

FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury v Heybridge Swifts..Pictured: Callum Harrison takes and scores a penalty ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton ..... (32371858)
FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury v Heybridge Swifts..Pictured: Callum Harrison takes and scores a penalty ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton ..... (32371858)

But while it was too late for Morsley, with his offer reluctantly accepted, the club were able to pull back on any more voluntary redundancies in the wake of a new government staff retention scheme.

The current contracted players informally agreed on Tuesday, with confirmation set to be sent as the Free Press went to print yesterday, to wait for the government money covering 80 per cent of their wages to arrive and be distributed by the club.

“It is a great gesture from the players who all want the best for the club to ensure we are able to continue when things eventually do return to normality,” said Long.

AFC Sudbury chairman - Andrew Long..Pic - Richard Marsham. (32372014)
AFC Sudbury chairman - Andrew Long..Pic - Richard Marsham. (32372014)

“They are showing two acts of generosity; firstly, to forgo 20 per cent of the money that will be owed to them and the second part is to wait for as long as it takes for the club to receive it.

“I just want to say how appreciative the club are for the generosity of all the staff with their actions to ensure we still have a club to come back to.”

He said there would be ‘one or two’ players, out of 13, which excludes the majority of the academy-tied players, whose contracts will be up at the end of the season. But he said caretaker manager Danny Laws, who also runs the academy operations, would be speaking to them and have the ability to retain them, if he wished to.

Meanwhile, both Morsley, who remains in a voluntarily advisory role offering free financial advice to the club, and himself have called for a quick final decision on what is happening with the current season.

Reece Harris goal celebration in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (32371909)
Reece Harris goal celebration in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (32371909)

The BetVictor Isthmian League released a statement on Tuesday which laid out how leagues at Steps 3-6 all want to terminate the season.

But the National League appears to be the stumbling block to that being rubber stamped by the FA as it is believed they still wish to complete their fixtures. The FA are seeking a unified approach for grassroots football.

It is understood a final decision should be announced by the weekend (see our website for the latest).

Kyle Cassell celebrates his first senior goal in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (32371928)
Kyle Cassell celebrates his first senior goal in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (32371928)

Long said: “We just want certainty. Just announce the season has ended and we can prepare for the next season, whenever that starts, however pleasing that is to the clubs at the top or bottom.

“We just want to know where we go from here and we can then plan accordingly.”

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