BOHEMIANS officials were today attempting to defuse a row over player bonuses to prevent that dispute from derailing their European ambitions this season, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.
The Gypsies beat Welsh side TNS 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League battle last night but the Bohs players refused en bloc to speak to the media after the game, a protest by the squad as part of a dispute with the Dalymount Park board on the issue of a bonus for Europe. Neither the players nor the club were willing to speak on the matter and Bohs boss Pat Fenlon also declined to comment.
It's understood that the row relates to the amount available as a bonus to the squad for European participation this season -- a bonus which will be paid at the end of the year.
Bohs are guaranteed €130,000 from UEFA if they get past TNS and into the next round, and even if the side lose at the next stage of the competition, the third qualifying round, they will get a backdoor entry into the Europa League and a parachute payment of €90,000.
But the Herald understands that there was a communication breakdown between the club and the players, most of whom have agreed to pay cuts since joining the club, on whether their bonus would come from a kitty of €130,000 or €220,000.
Players decided to blank the media in protest but it's thought that relations with the press will be resumed before Friday's league game with Sligo Rovers.
Overall Bohs could pocket up to €500,000 from their European venture this season if they beat TNS, with the possibility of a money-spinning tie and at least two more games in the Europa League should they lose that.