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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Bray's entire squad place themselves on transfer list as cash crisis continues

“For us as players it is simply about job security.”

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Updated at 3.37pm

BRAY WANDERERS’ ENTIRE squad have placed themselves on the transfer list with immediate effect after failing to receive assurances about the club’s financial future.

Players and their representatives from the PFAI met with club officials again on Thursday night, but weren’t given any information about the new investment which has been promised, or a date by which the investment would be finalised.

“For us as players it is simply about job security, and we have merely asked that any new investment is secured,” the players said in a statement issued through the PFAI on Friday.

“We have provided the club and the FAI with ample opportunity to obtain this information but as we are now entering a third week of uncertainty, we feel we must take this action.”

Representatives from the FAI were asked to attend the meeting but did not respond to that request, Bray’s players say.

The depth of the problems at the Premier Division club became fully apparent earlier this month when chairman Denis O’Connor issued a statement which questioned the club’s viability.

Bray’s players were subsequently told that there was only enough money to cover their wages until the end of the following week before, in an abrupt u-turn, O’Connor announced that the club had secured funding to last into 2018 and was ‘back in business’.

The following day, 7 July, Bray’s players requested details of the investment and guarantees that it would be secured.

Given the statements from the Club chairman of the preceding week when he confirmed that the original investment was no longer available, we felt that this was necessary to ensure confidence in our financial security. This information was requested by close of business Monday, 10th July 2017.

“A response was not received by this deadline and to date we have yet to receive confirmation from Bray Wanderers that this new investment will be secured.

“The players and PFA Ireland then wrote to the FAI Head of Club Licensing and the Independent Club Licensing Committee requesting confirmation as to what securities have or will be put in place to ensure that any new investment will indeed be guaranteed. Club licensing has engaged in correspondence with the PFA Ireland but they have not provided us with any confirmation of any investment or that this investment will be secured.

“In addition, our union sought to meet with the FAI on this issue to which they refused to agree citing other commitments. It is particularly disappointing that the FAI have refused to meet with our representatives where they could at least have provided us with more clarity on the financial situation with Bray Wanderers.”

Bray’s troubles have called into question the licensing process which is used to vet clubs ahead of each new League of Ireland season.

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Under the ownership of O’Connor and businessman Gerry Mulvey, Bray released a four-year plan last November where they pledged to build a full-time squad.

But without a boost in gate receipts, or in commercial and sponsorship revenue, that vision has put the club’s finances under tremendous pressure and led to the current instability.

On Friday evening at 3.30pm the FAI released a statement in response to the latest developments from Bray’s players, stating the Association would continue to monitor developments at the club. It read:

The Football Association of Ireland continues to work closely with Bray Wanderers FC regarding its funding issues to complete the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season.

“Since first being alerted to potential issues at the club, the Association met with club officials to seek clarity on their situation and was encouraged following an update of potential new investment being sought by the club.

The FAI added that it remained committed to finding a swift resolution to the situation.

While offering assistance throughout this process, the Association made it clear that the club is required to provide the Independent Licensing Committee with confirmation as to their current financial status.

“The Association has continued to monitor the situation at the club and to engage in talks with club officials, in the hope of a viable financial resolution being found as soon as possible.

“The Association can facilitate the appointment of an independent intermediary to assist in talks between the club and the players, and would urge both parties to engage in this process.”

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Niall Kelly

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