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Page last updated at Thursday, 20 March 2008, 17:15 GMT

SPL money to help stricken Gretna

SPL money is to help Gretna play on until the end of the season

The Scottish Premier League has agreed to pay the wages of Gretna's unpaid players - helping the club to stay in business until the end of the season.

The league has given the club a six-figure advance of money due to them at the end of the current campaign.

The club's administrator told the SPL they are confident the club can fulfil their remaining fixtures.

David Elliot gave the assurances at a meeting requested by league bosses at Hampden Park on Thursday.

The Black and Whites went into administration last week, and it emerged the playing staff were owed at least two-weeks' wages.

The SPL money will include backpay for the players, and allow the club to stay afloat at least until the end of the season.

A spokesman for the league was pleased with the outcome of the summit at the National Stadium.

The administrator informed us that he believes Gretna will complete this season's fixtures

SPL spokesman

"It was a useful meeting. The objective was to get some reassurance," he said.

"The administrator informed us that he believes Gretna will complete its fixtures for the rest of the season."

Earlier on Thursday, Fifa gave players dispensation to sign for other clubs until the end of March.

The league money will now make sure the players receive payment until their 38 league matches have been played.

Last Saturday, caretaker manager Mick Wadsworth had to draft in a number of U19 players in order to put out a full team against Aberdeen.

Some regular starters decided not to play because of concerns over the unpaid wages and medical insurance.

David Elliot
The league has now reassured me the funds are available to keep the players' wages up to date

David Elliot

The club had previously said that a large crowd at Sunday's league match with Celtic at Almondvale was critical to their short-term survival.

However, a club spokesman thought that even a big turnout at Livingston on Sunday may not be enough to save the club.

"Celtic are our only real chance of making money before the split," he said.

"But I don't know if we can carry on after the Celtic game, to be honest."

Gretna are still looking for a new financial backer to replace Brooks Mileson, who withdrew his funding last week.

An Irish takeover consortium lead by former Carlisle manager Roddy Collins met with administrators on Tuesday.

While a Scottish group headed by businessman Paul Davies was due to have their meeting at the club on Thursday.

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