FAI orders review of Athlone Town after club's failure to fulfil fixture

Players refused to travel to Waterford on Friday night due to a dispute over expenses.

THE FAI HAS ordered an independent review of Athlone Town after the club failed to field a team for their SSE Airticity League First Division fixture against Waterford United last Friday night.

Athlone’s players reportedly refused to travel to the south-east of the country because of a dispute over the payment of their expenses.

The midlands club, who are second bottom in the First Division, have been experiencing financial difficulties in recent times.

“The players felt that they were left with no alternative than to say that they couldn’t commit to the game,”  Athlone manager Alan Mathews told Midlands 103 FM.

“They weren’t in a position to leave work, and take time off at their own expense without being compensated.”

The FAI condemned Athlone for failing to fulfil the fixture with Waterford and SSE Airtricity League director Fran Gavin insisted the club would be charged with “bringing the game into disrepute”.

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The organisation then issued a statement this evening which explained there will be an independent review of the club to get to the bottom of the issues and assess how the club can move forward from this.

“The Football Association of Ireland has ordered an independent interim review of Athlone Town FC after a meeting between SSE Airticity League Director Fran Gavin, League Chairman Eamon Naughton and representatives of the club, after its failure to fulfil their fixture versus Waterford United on 3 June,” the statement said.

“The board of the Football Association of Ireland will appoint an independent person to meet with all of the relevant stakeholders of Athlone Town FC, including the chairman, board members, management and players, as well as supporters groups and potential investors, to discuss recent issues and the long-term future of the club.

“Once the independent interim review is complete, the findings will be presented to the FAI.”

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