Westmeath chief hits back at claims board behind with expenses

Westmeath chairman John Sheridan has slammed John Heslin’s remarks claiming senior footballers have not been paid expenses for the past four months.

The Westmeath full-forward yesterday criticised the delay in payment of expenses, alleging certain members of Paul Bealin’s squad are owed up to four months in mileage. Heslin also expressed frustration at the lack of access to the county’s gym at Collins Barracks, Mullingar.

“€3.5m for new stand in Cusack Park? Westmeath players are four months without expenses and no access to gym,” he tweeted.

Sheridan said the allegations were both “unfair and untrue”, adding that certain players were to blame for the delay as expense claims were not being filed on time.

“I would be very disappointed with John Heslin’s remarks. Expense payments to players are all paid up to and including the month of March. The most we have ever been behind has been two months,” fumed Sheridan.

“Sometimes we don’t be flush with money coming in, but every player will get their expenses. We depend on our bank account to be strong to be in a position to write cheques. We roughly spend €40,000-€50,000 a month on county teams and we have to make sure money is in our bank account.

“Every player gets an expense sheet at the end of each month. We are still waiting on the sheets for May and June expense claims from many players. How can we pay the players when they don’t put in their claim? Players have to take their responsibility. They needn’t be saying they haven’t been paid in four months when that is untrue.

“Added to that, we have had to replace seven sets of jerseys this year and that has come at a cost of €15,000. When we give a county player a jersey on the day of a match we expect them to return it. They are county board property. Players are giving them away, they are swapping them or they are putting them in their bags.

“We have no problem giving a player a jersey after the league and after the championship. Players have to be responsible with their jerseys and then certain players come giving out about their expenses.”

The chairman also rejected Heslin’s allegation regarding lack of access to the newly refurbished gym.

“It is a state of the art gym and we spent €60,000-€70,000 kiting out that gym. John has used that gym regularly. The gates open there every morning and evening.”


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