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Ebbsfleet United midfielder Andy Drury wants to see stricter financial controls in football

Andy Drury has called for a change to the way clubs pay their staff after Ebbsfleet’s players were left waiting for their wages again this week.

Fleet refused to warm up on Saturday before being given assurances by owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi their concerns over pay were being addressed.

The same issue has been rumbling on for more than a year and Fleet midfielder Drury wants to see stricter controls in football.

Andy Drury on the ball for Ebbsfleet Picture: Andy Payton
Andy Drury on the ball for Ebbsfleet Picture: Andy Payton

Speaking on this week’s KM Football Podcast, Drury said: “What I think is unfair is when people have contracts and are relying on that money.

“I believe there should be something that needs to change, maybe that a club needs to have a whole year’s money in their account before they start the season.

“It’s disheartening for the players but also the fans as well because they want a football club to be proud of and they don’t want to see players not coming out for warm-ups.

“It’s difficult all the way through the week but as soon as you go on the pitch, you don’t think about it.

“The mentality comes in, especially with the people we’ve got in the squad where we want to win and we want to perform.

“During the week is the hardest part, when you’re not getting paid and you’ve got families to feed and you’re relying on money coming in. It’s not very good.”

Ebbsfleet were facing suspension from their training ground this week after K Sports revealed they had racked up a bill of around £30,000 since the turn of the year.

But on the pitch, Fleet have managed to sustain a push for the National League play-offs. They beat high-flying Wrexham 4-2 on Saturday and are now unbeaten in five matches.

So how have they managed it?

“We’ve got good players,” Drury said. “We do have a very good squad and if circumstances weren’t put in front of us, I firmly believe we’d be a lot higher up.

“The senior players help run the dressing room and the younger players have character too. They’re always entitled to their opinion.

“When we won the play-offs (two years ago), I think you could see the spirit when we went down to 10 men before half-time but over the last year or so, the way we’ve stuck together, it’s definitely gone up a notch.”

Drury, 35, has played more than 200 games for the Fleet in two spells but his time at the club looks to be coming to an end.

He said: “I wouldn’t want my career to end after a season like this, where we’ve been through all this stuff.

“I’ll definitely play for another two or three years but where that will be, I’m not sure yet.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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