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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 15:50 GMT
Dundee sack 25 staff
Georgi Nemsadze at Dens Park
Georgi Nemsadze is one of those out of a job
Dundee have sacked 25 players and staff after being placed in administration.

Among those who have had their contracts terminated are high-earners Fabrizio Ravanelli, Craig Burley, Fabian Caballero and Georgi Nemsadze.

Players and backroom staff were informed of the decision by manager Jim Duffy and director Jim Connor on Tuesday morning.

The step has been taken in an attempt to curb spiralling debts of about 20m, with the club currently losing in the region of 100,000 a week.

Manager Jim Duffy was in despondent mood following the announcement.

"It's a difficult and emotional time and the fact I'm remaining at the club for the time being gives me no consolation whatsoever," he said.

15 sacked players
Craig Burley, Fabian Caballero, Juan Sara, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Beto Carranza, Mark Robertson, Barry Forbes, Jamie Langfield, Matt Engele, Kris Brash, Colin Boylan, Georgi Nemsadze, Steve Vanderdeyl, Gavin Beith, Tom Cowan
"I'd like to send a message to all football clubs to have a look at their finances and if they are contemplating going into administration to clear some of their debts.

"They should realise how much of a devastating blow it is to people's lives."

Reserve keeper Jamie Langfield was among the players released and he summed up the atmosphere inside Dens Park as the news was broken.

"The mood was very sombre in there," he told BBC Scotland. "It was the gaffer who told us and it must be the hardest thing he's had to do, but he did it very well.

"It's a dark day for Dundee, but hopefully it will make the club come out stronger financially.

"I've been here eight years, so it's very disappointing and it's not really sunk in yet," he admitted. "I'll just take the next couple of days to mull things over and hopefully I can get something sorted out."

Financial consultants Ernst & Young were brought in on Monday to oversee the running of the club.

The effect of reducing the numbers of full-time staff by a third has served to reduce the club's wage bill by 45%
Tom Burton
Ernst & Young
There are genuine fears in the football world that Dundee could go out of business, such is the state of their finances, although the club's owners, Jimmy and Peter Marr, insist administration is necessary to safeguard the future of the club.

Tom Burton, corporate restructuring partner at Ernst & Young, said: "Our priority is to move the club as quickly as possible towards the position where it can survive as a going concern.

"We have taken the first step towards this end by ensuring that Dundee Football Club has sufficient playing staff to fulfil its commitments whilst taking action to significantly reduce the cost to the club.

"Regrettably this means that 25 of the 70 full-time staff employed at Dundee have had their contracts terminated. This includes 15 players and 10 backroom staff.

"The effect of reducing the numbers of full-time staff by a third has served to reduce the club's wage bill by 45%."

But prospective director Giovanni di Stefano has once again questioned the wisdom of such a move, adding that Ravanelli remains available for selection as he claims to pay the Italian striker's wages.

"I must admit that I am surprised and a little aggravated that no-one has taken the time or courtesy to speak to me about this as a director of the company," said Di Stefano after returning from a trip to Italy.

"This is the first I have heard of these players being let go and I shall be making enquires when I get back."

When Motherwell took an identical route early in 2002, 19 players had their contracts terminated, but the Fir Park are now lying fourth in the Scottish Premier League and are making moves to come out of administration.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Former Dundee midfielder Craig Burley
"Had I known this was going to happen I wouldn't have bothered coming here"


BBC Sport's Andrew Swiss
"The club said they regretted the decision"




SEE ALSO
Ravanelli wants Dundee stay
25 Nov 03  |  Dundee
Duffy appeals for clarity
24 Nov 03  |  Dundee
Dundee 'a one-off sideshow'
21 Nov 03  |  Dundee
Ravanelli fears for future
21 Nov 03  |  Dundee
Gers demand Dundee refund
19 Nov 03  |  Dundee
Cash row splits Dundee clubs
06 Nov 03  |  Scottish Premier
Di Stefano vows to stay
13 Oct 03  |  Dundee



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