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Bray players put themselves on transfer list amid financial uncertainty

Bray Wanderers' professional players have asked to be placed on the transfer list amid fears that they may not be able to afford to put food on the table.

The move comes a fortnight after the SSE Airtricity League club revealed that main backer Gerry Mulvey would no longer be providing financial support.

Chairman Denis O'Connor announced last week that he had secured backing for the remainder of the season, but neither the players nor the Football Association of Ireland have yet received guarantees that funding is in place and that contracts will be honoured.

Stuart Gilhooly, solicitor for the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland, which is representing the players, told Press Association Sport: "There is no room for one week's payment to be missed.

"If they miss one week's wages, they're in serious trouble. It's missed mortgage payments, it's bills not being paid and there are perhaps even issues about putting food on the table.

"It's a very serious situation for these players."

The FAI has held a series of meetings with club officials and had thought the issue was reaching a positive conclusion.

However, with the end of the transfer window fast approaching, the players, who earn on average between 400 and 700 euros - or £350-£613 - a week, have decided to take matters into their own hands.

In a statement, they said: "A meeting was arranged last night between the players, Bray Wanderers officials and the PFA Ireland.

"The players requested representation from the FAI at this meeting. The FAI did not respond to this request.

"At this meeting, we reiterated our basic request for details of any new investment and assurance that the investment will be secured. None was provided. We also asked the club to provide us with a date as to when any new investment in the club will be finalised. No date was provided.

"In view of the fact that the current transfer window closes on 31st July, we as players feel we must be afforded the opportunity to gain secure employment elsewhere, and it is with regret that all players are now placing themselves on the transfer list with immediate effect.

"For us as players, it is simply about job security and we have merely asked that any new investment is secured. We have provided the club and the FAI with ample opportunity to obtain this information, but as we are now entering a third week of uncertainty, we feel we must take this action."

The FAI responded by offering to help appoint an independent intermediary in a bid to find a way forward.

In a statement, it said: "The association has continued to monitor the situation at the club and to engage in talks with club officials in the hope of a viable financial resolution being found as soon as possible.

"The association can facilitate the appointment of an independent intermediary to assist in talks between the club and the players and would urge both parties to engage in this process."

However, Mr Gilhooly was unimpressed with that offer.

He said: "If Bray Wanderers can't produce the information, then an intermediary isn't going to get it out of them.

"The FAI has the power, so why isn't it getting this information? The only conclusion that we can reach is that information isn't available and that the investment that's been promised isn't there."

Bray are yet to comment on the latest development.

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