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Edmonton Eskimos announce layoffs amid COVID-19 crisis

The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium following training camp on Monday, June 3, 2019.
The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium following training camp on Monday, June 3, 2019. 630 CHED/Dave Campbell

The Edmonton Eskimos have laid off an undisclosed number of staff as the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of clarity about what will happen to the 2020 CFL season drags on.

On Monday, Eskimos president Chris Presson confirmed some employees in all the organization’s departments were laid off, however, he did not say if the layoffs were permanent or temporary.

“Unfortunately, we’re not immune to the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 virus,” he said in a statement.

“Although difficult and heartbreaking, we had no choice but to take these measures in the face of ongoing uncertainty during the pandemic.”

In an interview with 630 CHED’s Inside Sports with Reid Wilkins on Monday night, Eskimos general manager Brock Sunderland indicated he believes the layoffs will be temporary.

“Our organization held off and kept things status quo for as long as we could, and certainly the hope is that these layoffs are temporary and we can all get back to some sort of normalcy — full staff and football — as soon as possible,” he said.

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“We’re very similar to a lot of industries and other sports teams that are having to adjust to the COVID-19 of this time.”

The CFL and CFL Players’ Association have suspended talk about possible contingency plans for the 2020 season as a result of the pandemic.

The football league has already postponed the start of training camps, which were to open in May.

READ MORE: COVID-19 pandemic forces CFL to postpone start of season

The CFL regular season, which was scheduled to open June 11, now won’t get underway until July at the earliest.

–With files from The Canadian Press’ Dan Ralph

Watch below: Some recent Global News videos about the Edmonton Eskimos.

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