St Pat's manager Pete Mahon feels the strain at a press conference last night. INPHO/Donall Farmer

Pat’s Europa League tie back on as players and club settle their differences

St Patrick’s Athletic’s Europa League tie will go ahead this evening after the players and club struck a deal.

Updated 14.25

ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC’S Europa League clash against Karpaty Lviv will go ahead as scheduled this evening after players and the club came to an eleventh-hour agreement in their pay row.

Earlier today, Saints players announced that they were refusing to play after rejecting an offer from the club relating to bonus payments and compensation for loss of earnings.

With the Airtricity League side facing a heavy fine and a European ban under UEFA’s rules, the FAI agreed to mediate between both parties in the hope of resolving the matter.

Following brief negotiations, PFAI secretary Stephen McGuinness confirmed to that an agreement had been reached and that the game would go ahead in Tallaght Stadium.

The Inchicore club are 2-0 down following last Thursday’s first leg in the Ukraine.

“A devastating blow for the fans and the league”

As negotiations reached an impasse this morning, the players released a statement announcing that they were withdrawing from this evening’s tie.

“Following receipt of a fax from the owners of St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club early this morning, we have considered its contents carefully.

“The faxed offer is the same offer that we rejected last night in our meeting with the club. Having discussed it at length, we are unanimous that the offer does not meet our minimum requirements.

“The club will receive many multiples of the amounts we are seeking in prize money so payment to us would still leave the club in profit following our European campaign. However, we have made it very clear to the board that our very modest requests would have to be agreed prior to tonight’s match; this issue has been ongoing for the past month.

“It is, therefore, with huge regret that we must inform you that we will not be participating in the fixture this evening. This is a unanimous decision of all the players and has not been reached lightly.

“We realise this is a devastating blow for the fans and the league. It is equally so for us as players but we cannot continue to be treated with disrespect by the club.”

This morning the Irish Independent carried a story revealing that negotiations between the two parties would go ahead this morning, with manager Pete Mahon confident the tie was not under threat. Mahon also told Dublin’s 98FM that he was preparing for the game as he would any other.

However, PFAI solicitor Stuart Gilhooly tweeted:

That tweet proved to be prescient.

The FAI, UEFA and St Pat’s were all unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Additional reporting by Adrian Russell and Niall Kelly.

Read the full statement from the players on the RTE website >

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