Gillingham FC, who recently lost 3-1 to Sunderland on their own patch, have become the latest club to succumb to financial difficulties.
The players’ union, the PFA, has confirmed that the club has approached them for advice about their financial situation.
PFA chief executive Mick McGuire said today, “We have been to Gillingham for talks with the chairman and players, and have also advised the club with regard to their financial position.
“The players are reviewing their own position in relation to the club going forward and further talks will be taking place in the near future.”
The Gillingham Independent Supporters’ Club said today that a recent letter to shareholders revealed that the club is £7.5million in debt and the club’s bankers, the Bank of Scotland, are refusing extend the overdraft facility. A planned share issue has also been cancelled due to lack of interest.
It is thought that Gillingham’s playing staff will be reluctant to take a wage deferral as Sunderland players have, because they have not received any bonuses now for a season and a half. Under PFA rules, no player can have his contract reduced in value or terminated without his consent.
One player, who declined to be named, told the Medway Messenger newspaper “We all believe that by the end of Tuesday we will have a clearer picture of the club’s financial state. The players have agreed to defer their bonuses and defer again, we don’t see what more we can do. The last thing we want is to take a wage cut as well.”
Gillingham are currently 17th in Division One, and have won only six out of nineteen matches, with 22 points.