‘We have lost all trust in the club’ – Bray Wanderers players to strike over unpaid wages

The Bray Wanderers players have voted in favour of going on strike over the club’s inability to pay their wages, the PFAI have announced today.

The club revealed on the 3rd of July that they would be listening to offers for any and all of their players as a result of them being unable to guarantee the players’ wages until the end of the season.

In a statement released via the PFAI today, the Bray players announced their decision to go on strike, saying that they regretted that the situation had become this drastic.

“We had sincerely hoped that we could resolve the unsatisfactory payment situation at the club, 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.

“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.

“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. 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.

“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.”

Since putting the players up for transfer, five squad members — Ronan Coughlan, Aaron Greene, Cory Galvin, Daniel Kelly, and Craig Walsh — have left Bray Wanderers with the likelihood that they will be followed by more in the near future.

Hugh Douglas, who has been at Bray Wanderers since 2014, described the current situation at the club as “disgraceful”.

“I have stuck with Bray through thick and thin over the past number of seasons but when I needed them the most, they let me down.

“Having to seek my own medical treatment for my knee injury such as surgery and physiotherapy has been an extremely stressful period combined with no income for the past seven weeks.

“It has been a horrible and disgraceful situation for myself and the rest of the squad to be in.”

Bray Wanderers’ next game — away from home against Bohemians — is on the 20th of July, with the strike coming into effect on the 24th.

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