Saturday 25 May 2019

Bray crisis rumbles on as players chase their unpaid wages

Stock photo
Stock photo

John Fallon

The latest turbulence surrounding Bray Wanderers continued last night as the squad and their representatives from the Players' Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) met with club chairman Gerry Mulvey.

Salary payments that were due to the players last week remained unpaid last night amid deepening problems at the club.

Mulvey earlier this week announced that the entire squad were free to depart as wages for the remainder of the season could not be guaranteed.

While the established players are resigned at this stage to leaving, their immediate priority is to receive overdue payments so they meet their monthly commitments.

The PFAI are centrally involved in trying to resolve the situation but a meeting scheduled for yesterday between the association and the FAI was aborted.

Questions have been raised about the veracity of FAI licensing procedures just a year after another cashflow crisis at the Seagulls.

Twelve months on from then chairman Denis O'Connor issuing a desperate appeal to fans and sponsors to dig them out of trouble, the team are marooned at the foot of the Premier Division table and attendances have plummeted.

Furnished According to the figures furnished by the website extratime for the first two thirds of the season, the turn-out at the Carlisle Grounds has dropped from an average of 966 to just 616.

Seasoned professionals such as Gary McCabe, Aaron Greene and Paul O'Conor will pick up alternative clubs with ease during the window, likely leaving new manager Martin Russell reliant on members of their U-19 teams to fill the void from the exodus.

Seán Heaney and recent signing Craig Walsh were openly critical this week of the club hierarchy.

With such paltry attendance, the very viability of Bray is once again in question.

It could also have repercussions for St Joseph's Boys, whose participation in national underage leagues comes under the licence of their partners in Bray.

Meanwhile, Shamrock Rovers travel to Cork City tonight with the comments of their manager Stephen Bradley about Dundalk's signing of Patrick McEleney a source of ire at the Louth club.

McEleney and manager Stephen Kenny appeared in a photograph with a picture of a Dundalk flag piercing through the crest of Rovers.

Bradley had maintained that the Lilywhites' decision to fork out a fee to re-sign their playmaker from Oldham made the league look "foolish".

Meanwhile, Wexford FC have for the second time been docked points for fielding an eligible player in their 1-0 win over Athlone Town.

Thomas Croke should have been suspended when he played against Athlone and, as a result, the First Division's strugglers have gained their first three-point haul of the season, with the FAI awarding them the points on a 3-0 scoreline.

Irish Independent

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