Bray Wanderers players announce strike action

Bray Wanderers players have announced that they will be going on strike.

The ballot to take the action was passed "by overwhelming majority" after seven weeks of unpaid wages.

Players have also been forced to pay for their own operations and rehabilitation for injuries, they say.

A seven-day notice will be provided to the club on Tuesday, which means their match against Cork City on July 27 would go unfulfilled.

"Coming to this decision last night was one of the hardest of our professional careers and reached with the heaviest of hearts," said the players in a statement.

"This is very much a last resort action but we feel we have been left with no choice."

They also criticised the FAI and their licensing department for allowing the situation to develop after the club fell into a financial crisis last season.

Last season, players were told they were free to leave before the club proclaimed on July 27, 2017: "The club is financially stable for the foreseeable future and have a vision for the future unrivaled by any other Football Club in Ireland.

"Those afraid and living [in] fear, rest assured fear has no place in Bray Wanderers."

The statement in full, released via PFA Ireland, is as follows:

"It is with great regret that we release this statement.

"We had sincerely hoped that we could resolve the unsatisfactory payment situation at the club, but despite weeks of negotiations by the PFA Ireland on our behalf, these efforts have proven fruitless.

"It is now seven weeks (25th May 2018), since we have been paid with no prospect of payment of these arrears or realistic proposals for future wages in sight. We are all players who rely on our weekly wage to pay our bills, mortgages and every day living expenses.

"During the above time frame, players who required operations due to injuries were forced to pay for their own operations, as the club was unable to pay for same. Issues around rehab and physiotherapy for players have also been an issue.

"This is, of course, the second season that contract issues have arisen and it is hugely disappointing that the club have allowed this situation to arise. We have now lost all trust in the club to respect our contracts. We had hoped, in vain, that the FAI would attempt to resolve the problems but in spite of the obvious signposts erected during last season's uncertainty, the FAI and their licensing department have failed to address a very obvious red flag and do not appear to have any plan to resolve this crisis.

"With no prospect of this appalling situation being resolved, we have balloted to strike and by overwhelming majority, we will be providing seven-day notice to the club on Tuesday. Coming to this decision last night was one of the hardest of our professional careers and reached with the heaviest of hearts.

"This is very much a last resort action but we feel we have been left with no choice.

"To the Bray Wanderers supporters, our fellow League of Ireland players and clubs, and to the wider League of Ireland community we sincerely hope that you understand that we have been left with no other option than to take this action.

"Bray Wanderers Players."

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