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Cash-strapped Galway ask fans to pull them through

GALWAY United boss Sean Connor admits that the cash-strapped club could well be in deeper financial trouble if they fail to attract a decent attendance for tonight's league game at home to Bray Wanderers.

Galway last week asked their players to defer the payment of their wages for a week to help the club get through their financial difficulties, and have also acted by slashing admission prices to €10 for tonight's game in an attempt to attract the punters.

United need a healthy gate from tonight's match to pay the wage bill but if the punters fail to turn out in numbers, Galway will struggle to fulfil their responsibility to the players and that could see the immediate break-up of the squad.

SPL side St Mirren are already tracking midfielder Stephen O'Donnell and striker Anto Flood, former Everton man Karl Sheppard could seal a return to the UK after a very impressive spell with Galway, while highly rated U21 international Seamus Conneely would also attract attention.

"The club has notified myself and the players that we are due two weeks' wages on Monday and if the gate against Bray is what it was the last time, then we'll struggle to meet those wages," says Connor.

"The players have been asked to defer a week. The players accepted that. On Friday against St Pats I got a response from the players. Now it is about the public in Galway. Do they want a team in the top echelon of the League of Ireland?" said the United boss.

"If they do, then they have to show it. If not, the consequences for the club are considerable. Our wage bill is less than €4,000 per week so we need €8,000 every home game. The last time we played Bray, we took in €3,700 so the maths speak for themselves.

"On top of the wages you have buses, pre-match meals and a reserve team to run. We simply can't meet our overheads without the support of the people of Galway.

"Potentially, we are two games away from an FAI Cup semi-final and we can catch a couple of teams above us in the league table, but to do that we need to keep the squad together," added Connor.

"When I took the job on I knew it would be a challenge, I knew the budget would be small. Unfortunately, the goalposts have moved."