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Message from Cliftonville FC

Cliftonville Football Club are aware of various enquiries, comments and speculation regarding the Club’s position on the Jay Donnelly case and related matters.

We wish to reiterate, as we said in our statement of December 1, that the Club does not condone such behaviour and recognises the impact that this has had on the victim and her family. We condemn such actions without question. We previously stated that the Club will not shirk its responsibilities to our members, supporters and the wider community and that remains the case. The Club is currently receiving legal advice and, when we are in a clear position to act, the Club will do so, responsibly and within the requirements of employment law.

To our fans, we understand this has been a turbulent period on and off the pitch and our supporters, who remain at the heart of our Club, have a right to receive communications through our official channels.

We understand and appreciate that our supporters and others would welcome detailed commentary and statements on this matter, but we are constrained by the framework within which we as employers are legally obliged to operate.

We ask for your patience and continued support going into tomorrow’s fixture with Ards and assure our supporters that, as well as being amenable to addressing our fans as closely as possible, we remain dedicated to acting in the best interests of Cliftonville Football Club pertaining to all matters at all times.

Cliftonville Football Club has today asked both the Irish FA and NIFL to be part of a consultative group that will help frame the Club’s player education policies going forward. We will also continue our work with all the relevant authorities and other charitable and advisory bodies and cooperate as necessary.

Cliftonville FC takes its position within the football and wider community very seriously. We expect our players’ behaviour, on and off the pitch, to reflect the proud history and culture of our Club. We will seek out the most appropriate way to reinforce that message, including bringing in external advisors who can work with all our players on issues around relationship behaviour, social media and mutual respect.