Peterhead Football Club regret to advise that 29 part-time and occasional staff are to be made redundant at the end of this month when the Government Furlough scheme comes to an end.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the club with both the football and hospitality revenue streams having been effectively turned off since March this year.
Despite matches having resumed behind closed doors at the beginning of this month, the fact that there are no fans and no match day hospitality at games has placed serious financial constraints on the club. The facilities at Balmoor Stadium operate normally seven days a week with meeting rooms and function rooms regularly being hired out almost on a daily basis. With the exception of the new and innovative Coffee Shop which is running on reduced hours and with a skeleton staff, the stark reality is that there is no work for the vast majority of our dedicated team of staff. Unfortunately, the new Government Job Retention Scheme which commences in November has no provision for our part-time and occasional staff.
Many of those effected are single parents who rely on their jobs with the club to supplement their income and in many cases their jobs provide the only social interaction they have outside the family home. There are also a number of instances where more than one family member from the same household will be impacted.
Peterhead FC are extremely grateful for the financial aid received through the grant funding made available by philanthropist James Anderson via the SPFL Trust and have thanked him personally for his generous support. However, it should be noted that this funding is ring-fenced for community based projects only, and it is therefore understandable that staff may have difficulty in fully appreciating why the club can be seen to be supporting local charities etc whilst at the same time cutting jobs.
Peterhead FC’s reputation for providing top class hospitality at Balmoor Stadium is second to none and is often the envy of clubs playing at a far higher level than that of SPFL1. A large proportion of the credit for that is down to the quality of our dedicated staff, a fact that has not been lost on the Board.
Everyone at the club has taken their share of the financial cut-backs over the recent months including the players, senior staff and management. The club are indebted to everyone who has helped to shoulder the financial burden and the decision to let staff go has only been made after a great deal consideration and deliberation, and only after every other alternative option had been explored.
Peterhead Football Club urge the Scottish football authorities to make further representation to the Scottish Government in order to address the serious financial implications of playing behind closed doors for lower league clubs before we start seeing communities throughout the country being subjected to further devastation by their demise and ultimate disappearance altogether.