Waterford FC players and management were shocked to learn they were being temporarily laid off by the club via an email this evening, RTE Sport can reveal.

With football on hold in Ireland due to the Covid-19 crisis, the decision is not a major shock, given that St Patrick's Athletic were recently forced into a similar move.

However, manager Alan Reynolds labelled the means by which he and his players were told "a disgrace" and said it showed no respect for the employees of the club at a difficult time in their lives.

Lee Power is chairman of Waterford FC and Swindon Town. His son, Jack, is Waterford general manager and signed his name under the email.

The letter read: "This is a hard letter to be writing, of which, I would never have imagined I would be sending to you as employees of Waterford FC.

"With the currrent situation and continuing effect of COVID-19 the club has been hit hard financially due to the last game being 10 weeks ago.

"As agreed previously we have continued to make payments to all staff over these few months, however, after time to deliberate the board has come to the conclusion for the survival of the club we have no other option.

"Therefore it is with great regret that we have made the decision to 'temporarily lay off' all employees with immediate effect."

Reynolds told RTE Sport: "I was totally unaware of this until I got a message from the players. Imagine being laid off like that after the service I have given to my home-town club?

"The players, who are suffering like the rest of us, are disgusted by the way this was carried out.

"I understand cuts are necessary, but is this the way to do it?"

It is believed that Reynolds is now considering whether he would return whenever league action resumes, having decided to commit himself to Waterford despite marked budget cutbacks in the off-season.