Stanley late with player wages
ACCRINGTON Stanley admit unpaid wages may have contributed to back-to-back defeats that have seen the club slip to the bottom of League Two – but the club say players will get their money before Saturday’s home game against Barnet.
Stanley lost 3-0 at home to Fleetwood on Tuesday, three days after a defeat at Northampton, to hit rock bottom for the first time and put their place in the Football League in danger.
The Reds’ problems have not been restricted to results on the field, with cashflow issues meaning the club are now two weeks late in paying monthly wages to players and staff at a critical time of the season.
Managing director Rob Heys admits the delay has been ‘unacceptable’ but said a resolution has now been found that will see members of the 18-strong board provide the cash to pay players before this weekend’s crucial match against fellow strugglers Barnet.
Heys said: “We have had a cashflow problem this month with not enough money coming in for what is going out.
“Wages have been delayed and it has affected everyone – staff, manager and players.
“Everyone has been fantastic about it but it has been two weeks now and it is unacceptable, we know that.
“You’d be naive to think that doesn’t have an effect on the players, they have tried their hardest in every game but it does have an effect.
“We’ve got a lot of directors on the board, certain people are able to find money at different times and they have been able to find the money now.“Half of it will be paid today and the rest will be paid by Saturday.
“We are confident that with money due to come in we will be okay for next month and after that.
“But we would love people to help with that and come and support the team in the last five home games.”
Heys, though, confirmed that the club remain up to date with tax payments – after coming close to going out of business because of a £308,000 debt to HM Revenue and Customs in 2009.
Stanley last week signed Francis Jeffers, pairing him with fellow former England international James Beattie up front on Tuesday, but say that has not made any impact on finances.
“People will look at the two big name strikers but they aren’t on a lot of money, they are playing for expenses,” Heys added.
The Reds’ slide into relegation trouble has seen manager Leam Richardson’s position come under scrutiny among some fans.
Chairman Peter Marsden publicly backed Richardson a fortnight ago and Heys has now reiterated that stance.
“Speaking personally I am behind Leam 100 per cent,” he said.
“He has shown a lot of loyalty to the club in the last couple of weeks. He could have come out after the game on Tuesday and said, 'We’ve been beaten but the lads haven’t been paid'. But he didn’t do that.
“People only see what happens for an hour and a half on a matchday but we see everything that happens, and I believe Leam is the right man for the job.”
Richardson himself believes Stanley can secure Football League survival this season, despite slipping to the foot of the League Two table.
Stanley’s 3-0 defeat at home by Fleetwood on Tuesday night at the Store First Stadium means they are now proppoing up the entire Football League after a difficult run of results.
But Richardson, who took over from Paul Cook at the end of last year, believes his squad is good enough to beat the drop despite taking just 10 points from 12 matches in 2013.
“The situation we find ourselves in is as bad as it gets but lets not waste time with the negatives,” he said. “We need to address it, stand up, individually and collectively and have a fight, have a really good fight.”
Richardson admitted that Tuesday’s home reverse was not good enough.
“From the first to the last minute, as a group, myself included – I must take the blame for that along with the lads. It’s not good enough by a long shot,” Richardson added. “We’ve got to be careful as a club that we aren’t defeated as we’ve got a lot of football left. “