Limerick players free to leave as financial meltdown looms
Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS.
Given Limerick FC's turbulent pre-season campaign, which saw manager Neil McDonald leave the club for a role in English football just weeks before the Munster clubs opening league match, a 1-1 draw against a stylish Bohemians team tonight should have been welcomed with positive vibes, even if the side above and below Limerick picked up surprise wins.
Forced to piece together an entirely new squad on a moments notice, rookie manager and true Blue, Tommy Barrett has acquitted himself in a very positive manner so far this season. Earlier this season Limerick FC chairman and money man Pat Sullivan announced he could no longer sustain the levels of investment he had put into the club unless there was help from new outsiders.
While that message was ominous, nobody expected events to take such a sudden twist at the Market Fields as following tonight's game it has been revealed the club no longer have the resources to pay their squads wages.
It has been confirmed "Blues" players went unpaid today and have reportedly gone unpaid since the end of April, which under contract law means those players are now free to find new clubs.
Reliably told that the Limerick players were told after tonight's draw with Bohemians that there's no wages and - as they haven't been paid since end of April - the entire squad is free to leave— Paul O'Hehir (@paulohehir) June 1, 2018
According to Limerick based journalist Andrew Cunneen, a meeting was held between Limerick FC coaching staff and officials before tonight's game at the Market Fields with the outcome being a decision to go ahead and play the game.
Club had a meeting with coaching staff and officials before the game tonight. Players opted to play the match. Chairman Pat O'Sullivan still, bizarrely, shouting for more effort as the clock ticked down.— Andrew Cunneen (@Cunneen92) June 1, 2018
Even with Bray Wanderers cutting the gap at the bottom to just seven points, following the Wicklow clubs surprise victory over European hopefuls St.Pat's, major questions over the Munster clubs immediate survival far outweigh thoughts of a sporting perspective as the Football Association stare a league wide disaster straight in the eyes after weeks of positive PR thanks to Graham Burke's Ireland breakthrough.
With online reports of unpaid wages at Bray Wanderers doing the rounds last week, the FAI's decision to restructure the League of Ireland into two ten-team divisions for 2018 is already hanging on for dear life.