THE stands are empty, the wind blows to no effect, referees are spared an earful from Hookie and the vociferous few, coloured cards are not being flourished, the ballboys aren’t strolling towards an errant ball whilst the opposition bench rages, there are no punch-ups in the tunnel, the chairman’s blood pressure is no longer spiking, the seagulls have moved on, the turnstiles have been stilled – the main activity is the grass growing. Central Park is in lockdown.

It’s just a few short weeks but it seems a lifetime since we were on that bus up and down the road to Elgin little suspecting that our push towards securing a play off place would soon be back-burnered. The world was about to change for us all, said Cowden secretary David Allan.

But he said: "Cowdenbeath FC though is far from dormant. There has been a hive of activity at a ‘virtual’ Central Park. New ways of working have been adopted to tackle so many unexpected challenges. Some directors have even had to get to grips with the 21st century with What’s App and Zoom now in almost daily use. The Club also has two employees still engaged – the groundsman tending the pitch as necessary and the office manager busy working from home.

"The players and management team are now on Furlough Leave. This was agreed in Zoom conference conversations with the manager and the players (represented by the captain and three of our senior pros). We were all able to work together to deliver what seems to be the best overall solution in this time of strife. The general sense of harmony in these discussions reflected the strong team spirit and morale at the club.

"The Furlough period is backdated to when football in Scotland was suspended on March 13. Furloughing potentially allows the club access to the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. Those on furlough undertake no work (including any playing or training) and the scheme provides a wage subsidy of 80% of normal earnings up until May 31. The club paid normal wages at the 100% level for the full month of March and will fund the future monthly payments at 80% pending reimbursement from the Government.

Thus, following an intense period of activity, we maybe have just a little bit of stability but there remains a good deal of uncertainty as to what the future holds. There are still financial challenges ahead. A bumpy road lies in front of us and effects are likely to be long lasting, well beyond the time that this current health crisis persists. Our most grateful thanks go out to all our people - players, management team, and staff - for the manner in which they have co-operated and contributed to aid the club in these difficult days.

"Cowdenbeath FC has been at the heart of its community for 140 years – there is no Cowdenbeath FC without that community. Thank you all. Take care and Keep Safe".

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