Fingal 'to pay players today'
SPORTING FINGAL have assured their players that their wages will be paid today -- but doubts remain over the long-term survival of the club after they failed to secure investment needed for the coming season, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
Fingal and Bohemians are due to represent the League of Ireland in European competition next summer but Fingal have now officially joined Bohs on the list of "crisis clubs", as they admitted yesterday that the club "for the first time since its inception in 2007" was "not in a position to pay players' wages".
It's another potential disaster for the organisers of the Setanta Sports Cup as Fingal are due to play Lisburn Distillery in less than two weeks. Earlier this week, Pat Fenlon warned that his Bohemians side were in danger of being unable to field a side for their first game of the competition this month.
A friendly game, due to be played on Wednesday night, was cancelled due to the cash crisis and Fingal boss Liam Buckley addressed the players at a meeting yesterday.
Players were told that wages would be paid today, but the squad -- many of whom have been through the agony of LOI finances with other clubs -- remain concerned about their futures and, indeed, the future of the club.
Some players from last season's squad have only recently signed new deals. Fingal have been in talks with other players as recently as last week about signing up, and only last month the club rejected an offer from Celtic for midfielder Shaun Williams.
They now face the prospect of losing Williams for nothing -- if indeed the club can be saved.
Fingal have been suffering financially since their main backer, property tycoon Gerry Gannon, withdrew his funding, and recent appeals for fresh investment have fallen short.
"We're all in the dark and we don't know where we stand," one player told the Herald. "We were due our wages last Friday, we were told we'd get paid on Monday but that didn't happen, it was delayed and delayed. Now we're told we'll get paid today when the club get money they're owed by the FAI, but we're all worried. We don't know where we stand."