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Pay delay final straw for Ryan

IT'S the third time in his career that Limerick-born winger Bobby Ryan is facing what's called a League of Ireland cash crisis.

No wonder that the player is, therefore, thinking of not just leaving Galway United but quitting LOI football altogether.

Ryan has dealt with non-payment or late payment of wages when he was at Shelbourne and endured pay cuts while at St Pats, but the latest financial crisis at Galway United, appears to be the last straw for the 31-year-old.

The United players go into tonight's very tough test, away to league leaders St Pats, with empty wallets and distracted minds as the club earlier this week asked the squad to defer the payment of this week's wages until next Monday, when presumably the gate receipts from a home league game will be used to pay them.

"At times you do ask yourself if this is worth it, if there is any point in putting yourself through all this hassle time and time again," Ryan told the Herald.

"It has happened to me a couple of times now and I don't know if I want to be part of this anymore. I don't know if I want to keep getting knocks like this, if I should do something else in life.

"You work hard, you train hard, you try your best for the team and for the club because you love football, but when you're not getting paid what you are owed it's very, very tough.

"It looks like I might have to try and leave Galway United now. I don't want to do that, I love the club and we have a great bunch of players here, but the prognosis can't be all that good if we are having problems with our wages this early in the season.

"Our manager, Sean Connor, was very fair and very straight with me, he said he understands the position of all the players and that while he wants to keep us all, he won't stand in anyone's way if they decide to leave and find a new club. That's something I have to seriously consider now.

"As things stand, I'll be there in Richmond Park tonight to play the game. The manager told me he's been very happy with the way I've been playing in the last few games. But I honestly don't know what will happen for the game at home to Bray on Monday. Some of the lads will get offers and it will be hard for them to say no if Galway aren't able to pay them. It's very hard to take," added Ryan, a league winner with Bohemians and Shelbourne.

The signs have been there all season that Galway would suffer financially, as gate receipts are well below what was predicted, something Ryan and the players even noticed.

"Our last home league game was against Bohemians. It was a big game for the club. But we only had about 700 people in the ground, and that's not right. The support just isn't there in the city," Ryan says.

"We're hoping for a good gate against Bray on Monday to keep us ticking over, but we're up against the World Cup on TV."

Without the money problems, Galway would have fancied their chances of an upset in Inchicore tonight. "We'll do our best tonight, we're still Galway United players and we have pride in the jersey," says Ryan.