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Galway cash in as Bohs' crisis deepens

WHILE the full extent of Bohemians' financial meltdown was laid bare at a crisis meeting on Thursday night, last night's 2-0 defeat at home to nine-man Galway United was as bad as it gets for Pat Fenlon and his team.

The League of Ireland Premier Division champions also need to stump up €400,000 before the season's end to secure their short-term future.

Their long-term existence also looks bleak, with suggestions from the top table at the meeting that the club may not even be able to afford part-time football next season and instead may have to resort to switching from a fully professional set-up to an all-amateur one. The Gypsies have already requested that the players who are contracted for next season negotiate a deal to mutually cancel their deals at the end of the current campaign.

In another attempt to raise cash and cut costs, Bohs are attempting to offload players. Killian Brennan and Paddy Madden -- who was watched by a host of scouts and Derby County boss Nigel Clough last night -- reportedly played in a friendly for a Celtic XI during the week, while Aaron Greene is understood to be close to a move to Preston North End.

While the club is melting down off the pitch, they imploded on it again last night against Galway United.

Manager Pat Fenlon admitted he was struggling to keep the players focused, with the financial worries hanging over them.

"By the looks of it I haven't been able to do it," he said. "But that's not up to the players, not up to us. That's up to the club. We haven't got an offer for any player. I keep reading about it but no one has put an offer in.

"I'm very disappointed with the performance."

They were desperately unlucky not to go in front before the westerners scored, with both Paul Keegan and Owen Heary going close. They went behind in bizarre circumstances in the 42nd minute. Rhys Meynell was dismissed for striking Heary as Stephen O'Donnell lined up a free-kick. The free stood, however, and O'Donnell fired it home with panache.

The Gypsies were stunned and things got worse for them 13 minutes after the break as Jamie McKenzie skinned Jason McGuinness and squared the ball for Stephen Walsh, who couldn't miss.

Galway were reduced to nine men in the 74th minute when Paul Sinnott was harshly dismissed, but Bohs couldn't take advantage.