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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 12:44 UK

Gretna lay off remaining 40 staff

Gretna director of football Mick Wadsworth
Wadsworth says money had dried up

Administrators for Gretna have laid off their remaining 40 staff although they say they are still negotiating with an interested buyer.

The staff members, including players, were told of the development at a meeting in a hotel in the town.

"Because there are no funds at the moment to carry on everybody has been made redundant," said director of football Mick Wadsworth.

"We assume, for most of us, it's the end of the line at Gretna."

Wilson Field had set a deadline of midday on Saturday for interested buyers to table offers.

No rescue deal has been concluded and no new deadline has been set, although they are still in talks with Glasgow businessman Paul Davis.

A statement from David Elliot of Wilson Field said: "A prospective purchaser has contacted us this morning.

"He confirmed that he is still in negotiations with the Scottish Football League with a view to obtaining entry into the First Division."

Wadsworth, who was also caretaker manager of the team, said the latest news was a bitter pill to swallow.

"It's a shock to the players that have got contracts, not only for the rest of the season but for next season," he said.

"And it's a shock I'm sure to the local people for whom the club is very, very important."

Gretna were placed into administration in March after the Border club's owner Brooks Mileson withdrew his financial support.


The 10-point deduction effectively relegated the club from the Scottish Premier League, and many of the first team squad were released from their contracts as wages went unpaid.

There were fears the club would be unable to complete its SPL fixture schedule.

However, the league stepped in to offer a rescue package and ensure staff would receive payment until the end of the season.

A number of consortiums have been reported to be interested in taking over the club which has debts of around 4m.

And after the team's victory in their last match against Hearts, chairman Ron McGregor said he was optimisitc that a buyer would make a concrete cash offer.

If Gretna fail to find a backer, the losers of the SFL play-off finals will be promoted, and another club will be admitted to the Third Division.

see also
Gretna 1-0 Hearts
13 May 08 |  Scottish Premier

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