Gretna administrators make widespread redundancies

Gretna's administrators slashed the club's staff with 29 redundancies on a grim day for the Black and Whites - but stressed it was a vital step towards completing the season.

Gretna's administrators slashed the club's staff with 29 redundancies on a grim day for the Black and Whites - but stressed it was a vital step towards completing the season.

Nine first-teamers are today seeking new jobs, and must find employment by Monday - the final day when players can register for Scottish clubs until the summer.

Although the transfer window closed on January 31, out-of-work footballers can still be signed up and FIFA are set to give dispensation for the former Gretna players to join new clubs.

Thirteen youth-team players will be seeking another chance in the game after they too were laid off, while all six members of Gretna's community coaching staff were axed, along with European scout Ray Farningham.

Administrators Wilson Field stressed it became "necessary to make a number of redundancies in order to bring weekly outgoings in line with anticipated future revenues".

They explained: "Discussions are continuing with the SPL to facilitate the completion of fixtures to the end of the season."

The SPL would be thrown into chaos if Gretna hit the wall at this stage of the season.

The fact Gretna may now survive until the summer was little consolation for those who lost their jobs, however.

The senior men now out of work were named as David Bingham, Mark Birch, Mickael Buscher, Aurelien Collin, Chris Innes, Henry Makinwa, David Mathieson, Erik Paartalu and Michael Tait.

Former captain Innes hit out at the administrators for the timing of the redundancies.

Wilson Field took over financial affairs at Gretna two weeks ago.

"I would have appreciated it if they had maybe told us a little bit sooner, which would certainly have helped the players' positions with regards finding other clubs," Innes told Sky Sports News.

"They've left us in a bit of a lurch and it's disappointing."

Innes fears the future looks bleak for the Borders club, who have lost the backing of Brooks Mileson, the man who funded their climb into the Scottish top flight.

"As it stands, I think they're in a very precarious position," he said.

The deadline for switching to a club in England is 5pm tomorrow, and Collin has been linked with FA Cup semi-finalists Barnsley.

"It's a hell of a time at the moment," PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart told PA Sport.

"The players now have to sort out this mess in terms of player registration, finding new clubs etc."

Wishart also had sympathy for players who remain at Gretna.

He said: "There are players... who have had interest from other clubs but they are reluctant to take the gamble [to quit Gretna] because there is a danger they won't get dispensation from FIFA if they move on."

Axed community coach Kevin Somerville was stunned to be cut, and said: "The communication from the administrators has been dire throughout to be honest and they have not consulted with us on anything."

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