A MORTON fans investment group has issued an urgent plea for supporters to donate cash to help the club pay players during the coronavirus crisis.

Morton Club Together, which was set up last summer and is already pumping £7,000 a month towards the wage bill, made the appeal after the club was left with no income due to the suspension of all football.

It is not known when fixtures will restart and Cappielow chief executive David MacKinnon has said the situation will have a financial impact on the club and that they will be holding talks with insurers over a possible loss of business claim.

The club lost tens of thousands of pounds in gate receipts and commercial and hospitality cash when last Saturday’s home fixture against Dundee United was postponed just over 24 hours ahead of kick-off.

Other sides are already in dire financial straits just one week on from the blanket ban, with Premiership outfit Hearts pleading with all staff to take a 50 per cent pay cut just to keep the club alive. 

A fighting fund has also been established for League One Raith Rovers and other clubs and fans’ groups are expected to follow suit.

Now MCT, which was founded by local man Graham McLennan to invest in return for a shareholding, is asking its existing members and other fans to step in and help the Ton, as well as opening talks with club owner Crawford Rae about how they can provide extra help.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Given the current situation regarding coronavirus, and the recent decision to postpone all football until further notice, it goes without saying that our club, Greenock Morton, find themselves in an extremely challenging position.

“For Morton, and many other clubs in Scotland, there is a serious cash flow shortage with significant outgoings with virtually no finances incoming. 

“It goes without saying that the support of MCT, our members, and indeed all fans will be critical to the club during this indefinite period.

“We at MCT are in discussion with the Morton board to see what assistance we are able to offer.”

Officials from the investment group say they are aware that the situation has started to affect everyone in the community, with people fearing for their jobs and the future of their families but added that they had already received pledges of help.

The organisation says it has seen ‘many fans reaching out during this difficult time and asking how they can help’.

They said: “Today, we are asking all fans to come together during the club’s time of need.

“For members, if at all possible, a small increase in monthly contributions would help, as would single, one-off additional donations.

“These donations will go directly towards alleviating the cash flow in the short term by helping to pay the first-team wage bill that remains in place currently.”

The group are also going on a recruitment drive to add to the 400 or so members they already have signed up and pledging money each month.

Morton Club Together said: “At this time, we are also appealing to the community of Morton fans who have not yet joined MCT.

“We would welcome any new members at this time, but even if you don’t want to commit to a monthly payment, we are also appealing for one-off contributions that will go straight to the club and towards paying the current first-team wages.

“Every single pound raised by this initiative will not only go towards alleviating the current crisis but will also contribute towards MCT’s stated aims of share retention and loan reduction. 

“We should also remember that by the end of March, MCT will have contributed almost £50,000 towards the first team budget, a fantastic achievement and one that we thank you wholeheartedly for contributing towards.”

It is now asking existing members to canvass fellow fans and ask them to join up.

The group said: “We appreciate any support that can be offered from those in a position to help, and any contributions would be gratefully received.

“We hope all Morton fans remain safe and well, follow the official advice, and look out for the more vulnerable members of the community.”

For more information on the appeal visit https://mortonclubtogether.com/