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Page last updated at 22:35 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 23:35 UK

Inverness struggle to pay Niculae

Marius Niculae (left) celebrates a goal for Inverness
Niculae's wages are a problem for Caley Thistle

Inverness Caley Thistle's major shareholder David Sutherland has told BBC Scotland the club cannot afford to keep paying striker Marius Niculae.

The Romanian international's wages had been covered by money made available by recently departed chairman Alan Savage.

Niculae has a year to run on his contract and is earning in the region of 4000-a-week.

And Sutherland says the club would have to raise 500,000 in a new shares issue if it wants to keep the striker.

Savage left his post due to work commitments and he insists he had not been paying Niculae's wages directly.

"At no time has the Orion Group or Alan Savage made any payments to Marius Niculae whatsoever," he said.

No matter how good he is, I don't think we can afford it

Inverness majority shareholder David Sutherland

At the weekend, it was reported that money from Savage would continue to cover the wages of the former Sporting Lisbon forward.

But the new statement issued via Savage's company casts doubt over where such funding would come from.

"I'm sure the statement from Alan Savage's Orion Group will confuse the players, the fans and the public," said Sutherland.

"I think Mr Savage is setting the record straight that neither he nor Orion payed Marius Niculae's wages over the past 12 months.

"As I understand it, Mr Savage injected around 270,000 of share capital to try and ease the contract payments."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Now Sutherland says that the player's wages are too high to maintain.

"No matter how good he is, I come back to the point of sustainabilty and, no matter how good he is, I don't think we can afford it," said Sutherland.

"But the players can rest assured that the shareholders will sort this out."

Niculae tops the scoring charts for Caley Thislte this season, with 10 goals.

Manager Craig Brewster said last week he did not know whether the forward would still be an Inverness player next season.


see also
Niculae's Inverness wages secure
19 Apr 08 |  Inverness CT
Inverness chairman resigns post
11 Apr 08 |  Inverness CT
Inverness duo take monthly prizes
10 Jan 08 |  Inverness CT
Romania striker joins Inverness
17 Jul 07 |  Inverness CT


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