BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Gretna make 22 players redundant

Chris Innes
Innes has been made redundant by Gretna's administrator

Eight senior players and the former owner's son have followed ex-captain Chris Innes and six community coaches in being made redundant by Gretna.

Aurélien Collin, Mickael Buscher, Henry Makinwa, David Mathieson, David Bingham, Mark Birch, Erik Paartalu and Michael Tait have been axed.

The latter four players were on loan to other clubs.

Operations director Craig Mileson, son of Brooks Mileson, is also out along with 13 youth players.

Chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association Scotland, Fraser Wishart, said he has serious concerns regarding the employment prospects of the out-of-work players.

"We've finally reached the stage I've been warning for the last couple of weeks; that players are being hit with strict deadlines to find new employment," Wishart told BBC Scotland.

Discussions are continuing with the SPL to facilitate the completion of fixtures to the end of the season

Gretna statement

"We've made progress with the help of Gordon Smith at the SFA with regard to dispensation from Fifa, but we only have a few days now.

"There is a real possibility that players could be made redundant, unemployed and left high-and-dry come April and will not be able to find employment at new clubs."

It was Mileson's ill-health and withdrawal of financial backing for the relegation-bound Scottish Premier League club that led to its slide into administration two weeks ago.

A formal redundancy letter has also been received by former chief executive Graeme Muir, two weeks after he told the club he was quitting.

The 21-year-old Paartalu said: "We've got half our week's wages today.

"From what I've heard, I don't think we'll get paid any more. It depends on what happens to the club for next season.

"There's about five or six players but about five or six other staff members that are being let go.

"I really feel for the boys who have got families to look after and mortgages to pay. It's really disappointing.

"The transfer window for free agents closes on 31 March in Scotland and 27 March for clubs in England, so it's a bit of a rush now for everyone to try to find a club and get sorted for next season.

"We're all trying to get dispensation from Fifa."

But world football's governing body has told the Scottish FA that any Gretna player who wants to sign for another club must make an application through that club's national association.

Defender Collin could now join Championship outfit Barnsley.

But redundancy raises a question mark about forward Bingham's loan at Cowdenbeath, while defender Paartalu is at Stirling Albion and Birch and Tait at Newcastle Blue Star.

Innes, who had helped Gretna rise from Division Three to Scotland's top flight after leaving Dundee United, has been linked with First Division Morton.

"I've had three and a bit fantastic years at Gretna, but now I'll have to look for pastures new," said the 31-year-old defender.

Gretna had on Tuesday agreed to release midfielder Fabian Yantorno, who had been their best player this season until he suffered injury in January, because they could no longer afford his medical treatment.

Community coaches Kevin Somerville, Darren Edmondson, Paul Menlove, Ross Murray, David Bradbury and Kenni Dinnell were axed on Wednesday morning.

Innes had earlier accused the administrator of doing a U-turn after last week saying that contracts would be honoured until the end of the season.


Administrator David Elliott, of Wilson Field, had made promising noises about Gretna's hopes of survival before Sunday's fixture against Celtic after money was received from the SPL.

But he will have hoped for a larger crowd than the 3,500 who turned up at Livingston's Almondvale Stadium, which hosted the game because of drainage problems at Fir Park.

And his latest statement has placed new doubt on Gretna's ability to survive until the end of the season.

"Discussions are continuing with the SPL to facilitate the completion of fixtures to the end of the season," it said.

However, the league said there was nothing to suggest that Saturday's visit to St Mirren Park would not go ahead.

see also
Gretna release injured Yantorno
25 Mar 08 |  Gretna

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites