Pat's players may boycott Europa tie as compensation row erupts
THE players of St Patrick's Athletic could boycott tomorrow night's Europa League clash with Karpaty Lviv in a row over money.
The Saints would face a fine of €10,000 if they failed to fulfil the fixture and would lose all UEFA prize money generated so far this season under competition rules.
They would also have to cover the Ukrainian side's travel costs and could face a ban from European competition in future seasons.
The Saints players have imposed a media blackout ahead of the game and have threatened further action if their grievances are not addressed.
Boycotting the game is their last resort but the players are believed to be willing to take the nuclear option if a settlement cannot be negotiated before then.
The part-time players believe they have not been adequately compensated for their loss of earnings during a European run that has taken them to Iceland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
They are looking for compensation -- believed to be in excess of €10,000 -- and are understood to be deeply unhappy over the perceived lack of appreciation for their time and efforts, having taken time off work and, in some cases, cancelled holidays.
The PFAI wrote to the Richmond Park club on July 25 regarding their concerns and have yet to receive a response.
The club -- who have incurred heavy travel costs during the run and don't receive prize money until next season -- declined to respond to the statement last night.
"Our efforts in the Europa League have not been properly recognised by the club," the PFAI statement on behalf of the players read. "We are deeply disappointed with the club's lack of acknowledgment of our achievements."
"We regret that due to the club's actions we will not make ourselves available to partake in any media activities ahead of the game on Thursday. We will also take any further steps we deem necessary."
Manager Pete Mahon had earlier issued assurances that his players would be looked after but the club have yet to follow through.
"They are going to have to be reimbursed," he said. "Players are being forced to take days off work, and people's holidays are eaten up. I wouldn't ask any player to put his job in jeopardy over a football game."