Wednesday 23 August 2017

Bray Wanderers players told wages will only be covered until next week and that they can begin talking to other clubs

30 June 2017; Hugh Douglas of Bray Wanderers reacts after picking up a blood injury as team-mates Peter Cherrie, left, and Ryan Brennan look on during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Co Wicklow. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
30 June 2017; Hugh Douglas of Bray Wanderers reacts after picking up a blood injury as team-mates Peter Cherrie, left, and Ryan Brennan look on during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Co Wicklow. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Jack O'Toole & Daniel McDonnell

Bray Wanderers players have been advised that they can begin talking to other clubs and that there is only enough money at the club to cover the next week's wages, according to the PFAI.

The Professional Football Association of Ireland wrote on their Twitter account this morning that the players have been advised that their wages will only be covered for one more week, with PFAI General Secretary Stephen McGuinness revealing to Independent.ie that the players association have not been able to reach the club or their chairman Denis O'Connor.

"I've tried to get in contact with the club and Denis this morning but I can't get a hold of them," said McGuinness.

"I'm waiting for them to get back to me. I've spoken to the captain [Conor Kenna] and our rep [John Sullivan] at the club and we've been told one more week's wages for the players and for training and whatever else.

"They have to cover the staff as well. Every player is then entitled to speak to other clubs and the club will then work with the other clubs and then engage in mutual cancellations and then move the players on.

"I rang every Premier Division club this morning and spoke to the majority of managers to make them aware of the situation, but a lot of the clubs are actually looking at players outside of the country because there's not too many free agents available.

"It's important for us to promote our members, both north and south of the border if we have to, to try and get them employment as quickly as possible."

McGuinness added that in the event that Bray cannot fulfill their financial commitments to players and staff, the PFAI would then explore potential avenues for compensation based on the future status of the club.

"It depends what happens at the club," added McGuinness.

"If the club continues to trade, well then we're in a situation where we have to look at that then from a point of view where how much of the wage can the club pay, if any? If they can't pay well then we have to look at every scenario then."

Bray released a statement on Friday during the middle of their SSE Airtricity League defeat to Dundalk with the club addressing rumours surrounding winger Dylan Connolly's transfer to Dundalk, poor attendances and low season ticket sales.

In the statement, which was signed by club chairman Denis O'Connor, the club said that it would not be in a position to continue running at the level expected by its fans without the proper support it felt it needed to survive.

The statement read:

“Apart from our season ticket holders we estimate that our average home support base is somewhere along the lines of Adult 125/165 and Concession 90/120.

“This tells us that the support base is just not there!

“Apart from the poor gate receipts the Club is not supported to any large extent by local advertising and sponsorship.

"We are not allowed use The Carlisle grounds to generate revenue – it can only be used for Soccer and Rugby League purposes.

“It is just not viable to continue to run a club at the level expected by fans without the proper support.

“A huge effort has been put into the club by many volunteers in the past few years/Harry has done a great job with the senior squad and substantial funds have been put in to support this effort for which we are grateful.

“But what is the point if we cannot get the minimum financial and supporter base which a great club like this deserves?”

Bray's financial problems have put other Premier Division clubs on red alert with managers on the lookout for fresh faces set to battle it out for their leading players.

Striker Aaron Greene will be the main man in demand and is on the radar of league leaders Cork City, who lose top scorer Sean Maguire to Preston on July 24.

Sligo Rovers and Galway United are also looking for a front man and Greene would fit the bill. Creative midfielder Gary McCabe will also have plenty of options with Sligo keen on bringing him back to the club.

Keith Buckley could return to his former club Bohemians after a winter move to accept full time football with the Wicklow club. Bohs may also look to bring in defender Hugh Douglas.

St Patrick's Athletic are also looking for a centre half and while they are close to a deal for Dutch defender Jordi Balk, the sudden availability of former favourite Conor Kenna could alter the situation.

Independent.ie have contacted Bray Wanderers for comment.

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