Simon Ferry says he’d be willing to forego his wages to help Peterhead survive.
The Blue Toon squad are furloughed with many of their contracts expiring next month.
Midfielder Ferry is one of a handful who have already penned a deal to stay with the Buchan outfit next season.
Prior to the introduction of the government’s furlough scheme, Ferry was one of a number of players who, along with the management team, offered to give up their wages to help the club.
It is still not known when next term may be able to begin and, with the job retention scheme only running until the end of June, clubs may be forced into discussing wage cuts in the months ahead.
Ferry, 32, is willing to do whatever he can to help Peterhead and said: “I think Peterhead is the best part-time club in Scotland for the way they look after players and the facilities they have.
“Directors come to training on a Wednesday and cook us food for after training, it’s almost embarrassing how much they do for the players.
“We can lose 3-0 at home at the weekend and they’re still there at training on a Wednesday night and I think ‘how can they do that when we’ve let them down at the weekend?’
“But they do it and they’ve been brilliant with me. Ian Grant, Harry Fraser, Rodger Morrison – the chairman – and all the rest are great.
“As players if we can give a bit back we try to. Not everyone can do it, but you need to have a bit of humanity about the situation the club is in.
“I’d hate to take money out of the club when I can do without it just now and risk the club having to go into administration or something like that.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen going forward. Hopefully things get better soon.”
As well as playing Ferry hosts podcasts and interviews for Open Goal and he says he’s fortunate to be in a position where he could afford to give up the wages he receives from Peterhead.
The former Dundee, Swindon and Portsmouth player added: “It was quite an easy decision for me to make to give up my wages.
“I’m in quite a fortunate position that I’m still working with Open Goal and still getting paid.
“So it was a no-brainer for me and Scott Brown, Derek Lyle and a couple of others who offered to do the same, because if us giving up ours for a while can help another guy in the team and help the club then it’s an easy decision for us to make.
“I think that’s why the dressing room gets on so well because we all try to help each other.
“Scott Brown’s the captain and he’s been brilliant throughout this. He’s still got a full-time job, but he’s been in touch with the PFA every day.
“He’s kept the boys up to date with everything, he came up with me to meet the chairman before lockdown.
“Scott has been great and he deserves a lot of credit because he’s done everything he can to help the boys.”
Ferry says the pandemic will have a major impact on players across Scotland.
He said: “Even at part-time level your wages keep a roof over your head or put food on the table.
“This has come at a bad time for players as well because I know there aren’t many of us at Peterhead under contract for next season.
“And it will be the same at other clubs, and clubs might not want to give out new contracts because they don’t know what will happen or what money they’ll have available.
“It’s not easy for players – everyone thinks we have a great life, but it’s tough for guys in the lower leagues. In the current climate as well, it’s even harder to get jobs away from football.”
Ferry hopes podcasts can help those who’re struggling
If he’s able to help someone during lockdown then Simon Ferry is delighted.
The Peterhead midfielder has been continuing to record podcasts and interviews for Open Goal during the pandemic.
Many fans who are stuck at home have reached out to Ferry on social media to say the work he’s doing has helped lift their spirits.
Ferry is often joined on his podcasts by former Kilmarnock, Hearts and Rangers striker Kevin Kyle and ex-Motherwell and Celtic winger Paul Slane.
He said: “For me when people message and say something we’ve done has helped them it gives us a boost.
“I don’t do what I do to try to get my name in the paper or anything, it’s just to try to help and entertain people. If a podcast or interview we’ve done has helped them then that’s great.
“It’s there for anyone to listen to or watch, particularly during the current situation.
“Mental health is important and Kevin Kyle and Paul Slane have struggled with mental health themselves, so – as well as helping the people who listen – I think it helps Kev and Slaney as well.
“I see people messaging me and if they’re off work, stuck at home and don’t have a lot in their lives I can see how they can be affected by mental health.
“It’s not something that’s ever really affected me, but I see how sitting in the house just now could do it.”
For many in lockdown the days have dragged on as they struggle to entertain themselves.
However, Ferry has been kept busy.
The Blue Toon star added: “In the morning I get my sons their breakfast, spend some time with them then go for a run.
“After lunch we’ve been doing a podcast most days, so that takes up most of the afternoon and then I’m able to relax for a while in the evening.
“It’s been a while now, but the days have flown by for me.
“There have been good sides to it as well because I’m able to take my kids out to the garden to play football for a couple of hours and that’s something if I was working as normal I wouldn’t have the same time to do.”