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Gavin denies Bohs' survival deal is being funded by FAI

BOHEMIANS and the FAI were last night insisting that they are close to finalising an agreement that would see the club survive.

But League of Ireland director Fran Gavin denied that the association is helping to fund a deal between the club and the remaining contracted players. It had been believed that the FAI would advance prize money to the cash-strapped club.

"Absolutely not, categorically not," he said after attending meetings between the club and the PFAI yesterday. "We're not giving any financial assistance to anybody, but we're very close to finding a solution to the whole thing."

There had been confidence earlier in the week that resolution was near, but last night the parties had not reached agreement on severance packages with the contracted players who have not been paid in nine weeks. Two of the players -- Steven Gray and Brian Shelley -- have sought a winding-up order against the club.

The club need to remove the contracted players from the wage bill if they are to function in 2011, and pass licensing criteria next month. A club spokesman said the issues now remaining to be to be resolved are "details of process".

Meanwhile, FAI chief executive John Delaney last night pledged to provide the funding for €5,000 worth of shares in Drogheda United from his own pocket. At an appeal for help by the fans group The Claret and Blue Club, the Waterford native said he would fund five €1,000 shares in the club.

The Claret and Blue Club, who are forming a new company to take over the club, are believed to have raised €58,000 in their drive towards getting the €200,000 they believe is needed to sustain the club over the next few seasons.

They have confirmed that they will be fully amateur next season and appealed for further help at a fans' meeting last night, attended by Delaney, who guaranteed the club the use of Hunky Dorys Park for as long as they need it.

Irish Independent