Peterhead skipper Scott Brown hopes the pay deal struck between the club and their players suits all parties.
Brown, who is the Blue Toon’s PFA representative and sits on their management committee, has been at the centre of negotiations between both parties to thrash out an agreement during football’s shutdown.
A deal reached prior to the weekend will see Peterhead’s players continue to be paid a small amount, with the club hoping to take advantage of the government scheme to furlough 80% of their wages through grants.
Club chairman Rodger Morrison expressed his gratitude to Brown last week for his role in the talks, which come at a hugely uncertain time for part-time outfits.
Brown, pictured left, said: “It’s been tough. I’ve been the go-between for the chairman, management staff and players.
“It’s a strange time to be captain – we are needed on the pitch but it’s been more important at this time to be a calm head.
“Boys have been asking about wages, the chairman is looking after the club and you can understand it from both sides. I think we came to a fair solution.
“I could see a few clubs going to the wall if they couldn’t pay their players.
“Hopefully the boys are going to be happy with it, but you can’t please everyone. I think the club have done as much as they can.”
Such an agreement is arguably more important for those who do not have an income outwith football. Brown acknowledges he is in the fortunate position of having other work – at a family-run financial advisors – but highlighted some of the scare tactics which had been rumoured from some clubs facing a severe income shortage.
He added: “It’s an uncertain time for boys. You saw reports of clubs saying they could suspend players (if they did not accept wage cuts).
“I’ve got another income so I’m not in a bad position, but for some boys if they didn’t have football then I don’t see how they’re going to get by.”
Alleviating some of the pressures of the situation and checking in on each other’s mental wellbeing have become pivotal aspects of the lockdown.
WhatsApp groups are understandably popular in helping players keep in touch, particularly when squads are dispersed across the country like Peterhead’s is.
Brown said: “It’s nice to make sure you’re still keeping in touch. At some point we will need to get back on the pitch together and be a team again. There’s stuff flitting about the chat that keeps you going and puts a smile on your face.”
Meanwhile, Fraserburgh’s players have joined those at other Highland League clubs in not taking wages during the shutdown. Broch chief Finlay Noble revealed the squad had also handed back their March pay to be used for youth development.
Noble said: “Money is undoubtedly tight in our level of football and at this unprecedented time it is even more so. We sincerely thank our players and management for this generous offer and, while I am extremely biased, I do believe we have a tremendous family spirit at the club, second to none.”