Thursday 19 April 2018

Bohs and players poles apart in redundancy talks

Daniel McDonnell and Ruaidhri O'Connor

PFAI chief Stephen McGuinness believes that Bohemians and their contracted players remain miles apart in negotiations over redundancy packages, but he is unsure how relevant the November 30 deadline is, given the FAI's past record with respect to sanctions.

Bohs are trying to remove eight members of last year's squad from their wage bill by reaching a settlement to pay off the remainder of their deals. They also need to sort out unpaid wages to avoid being in breach of licensing.

That could jeopardise their Premier Division status for 2011, but McGuinness reckons that the real deadline of significance is next February when the committee sit down to hand out licenses.

Bohemians can bypass November and December deadlines if the players confirm they are in discussions about retrieving unpaid monies and sign an agreement to that effect.

The league authorities could hit the Gypsies with a retrospective points deduction that would affect their 2010 finishing position, but clubs haven't been punished in the past for failing to pay players on time.

"There are dates for this licensing that make the mind boggle," said the PFAI chief executive yesterday. "Person-ally, I don't think they mean anything. I think February 15 is the real date."

Certainly, a quick resolution at Dalymount Park appears out of the question. Bohs, who have resolved pressing issues with the Revenue Commissioners, are set to meet the PFAI later this week to reveal how much money they have raised to offer the players.

The individuals in question have a year left on their deals. Bohs have spoken about paying 13 weeks' wages to each player concerned to sever their ties; the players are looking for approximately 26 weeks.

"The 13 weeks is not acceptable," said McGuinness. "To ask anyone to rip up an employment contract, at this moment in time, in any job, is a hell of an ask. If there were full-time professional contracts out there for the players, I think they would do deals. But, at the moment, there's nothing out there for them."

Meanwhile, Galway United say they are preparing to address their debt problems in a "timely and efficient manner."

They were responding to a statement from Galway United Supporters Trust (GUST) which indicated that the club were €900,000 in debt and have pressing commitments of €70,000.

Galway's statement acknowledged difficulties, but said the €70,000 figure is overstated and less than what they required last year to secure a licence.

Nick Leeson said last night that he will continue in place to get them through the licensing process, but doesn't believe that a full-time CEO is viable anymore.

The PFAI are frustrated by recurring problems at Terryland Park. "They have the same issues at the end of every season," said McGuinness. "Same old, same old. Same monies owed, same messing around, same people getting thrown out of accommodation. It doesn't change in Galway."

Irish Independent

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