Bray Wanderers players confirm that they will go on strike

Move comes after discussions over club failing to pay wages for the last seven weeks

Bray players celebrate a goal during their Airtricity League win over Sligo Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds last weekend. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Bray players celebrate a goal during their Airtricity League win over Sligo Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds last weekend. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

The turmoil at Bray Wanderers has taken another turn on Friday morning with the players releasing a statement to say that they have balloted to strike after failing to receive wages since May 25th.

“We had sincerely hoped that we could resolve the unsatisfactory payment situation at the club,” the staement read. “But despite weeks of negotiations by the PFA Ireland on our behalf, these efforts have proven fruitless.

“It is now seven weeks (25th May 2018), since we have been paid with no prospect of payment of these arrears or realistic proposals for future wages in sight. We are all players who rely on our weekly wage to pay our bills, mortgages and every day living expenses.”

Last week Aaron Greene, Ronan Coughlan, Cory Galvin, Daniel Kelly and Craig Walsh all departed the Carlisle Grounds after being given the option to leave as free agents by chairman Gerry Mulvey.

With no payments received for the last seven weeks the players say it is “with great regret” that they have voted to strike. They have not trained for two weeks and now take the step to strike completely with a crucial relegation six-pointer away to Bohemians looming next week and coming off the back of their first win since payments stopped when they beat Sligo Rovers 2-1 last week.

The clash with Bohs will go ahead due to the obligation to provide seven days notice of strike action – which they say will be given to the club on Tuesday – but the meeting with Cork City on July 27th is now in jeopardy.

The statement went on to say that injured players have had to pay for their own operations due to the club’s financial trouble and that there has also been issues with rehab and physiotherapy in what is now the second season in a row that wage issues have arisen.

“During the above time frame, players who required operations due to injuries were forced to pay for their own operations, as the club was unable to pay for same. Issues around rehab and physiotherapy for players have also been an issue,” the statement continued.

“This is, of course, the second season that contract issues have arisen and it is hugely disappointing that the club have allowed this situation to arise. We have now lost all trust in the club to respect our contracts.”

Despite those problems last season the club was still awarded a Premier Division licence this season, something that drew questions at the time with many also pointing to the fact that Athlone Town, who were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal last season, also received a licence.

The statement questioned why the FAI had not acted on last season’s issues and instead awarded a licence which has now led to the same problems arising again.

“We had hoped, in vain, that the FAI would attempt to resolve the problems but in spite of the obvious signposts erected during last season’s uncertainty, the FAI and their licensing department have failed to address a very obvious red flag and do not appear to have any plan to resolve this crisis,” it read.

“With no prospect of this appalling situation being resolved, we have balloted to strike and by overwhelming majority, we will be providing seven-day notice to the club on Tuesday. Coming to this decision last night was one of the hardest of our professional careers and reached with the heaviest of hearts.

“This is very much a last resort action but we feel we have been left with no choice.

“To the Bray Wanderers supporters, our fellow League of Ireland players and clubs, and to the wider League of Ireland community we sincerely hope that you understand that we have been left with no other option than to take this action.”

Bray currently sit bottom of the Premier Division, six points behind Limerick who occupy the playoff place and who are also currently suffering financial difficulties.

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