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Ebbsfleet United players break their silence about club's financial problems

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet's first-team squad has released an extraordinary statement about the club's financial problems, revealing they have only been paid on time once in the last year.

It is the first time that the players have broken their silence after an unsettling time at the National League club.

The statement released by the whole squad to KentOnline reveals that they have again not received their wages on time in January.

Ebbsfleet celebrate during their home win over National League leaders Leyton Orient last month. Picture: Simon Hildrew
Ebbsfleet celebrate during their home win over National League leaders Leyton Orient last month. Picture: Simon Hildrew

The players also disclosed that pension payments have not been met and they unknowingly played matches earlier this season without the right medical insurance in place.

They were due January's wages last week but claim that those monies are seven days late and still outstanding.

A statement issued by the entire playing squad to KentOnline said: "Subject to the continued misleading statements of recent months giving the impression that the football club is financially secure, we can confirm as players we have only been paid on time once in the last 12 months.

"We are still outstanding our January's salary that is now seven days late and running into the next calendar month.

"We as players are incredibly disappointed with the clubs continuation of releasing press statements that give an incorrect impression of the state of the football club.

"The football club were unable to make the players' medical insurance premium, which they are contractually obliged to do.

"The football club consciously withheld this information from the players resulting in the players playing three matches in the national league without cover.

"This would have been catastrophic for any players that would have been unfortunate enough to suffer a serious injury, this could have resulted in the end of a player's career.

Ebbsfleet's players observing a minute's silence earlier this season. Picture: Andy Jones
Ebbsfleet's players observing a minute's silence earlier this season. Picture: Andy Jones

"The players were made aware by their pension company that the football club had not made any contribution to their Government Work Place Pension since June 2018.

"It had come to light and confirmed that not only had the employer's contribution not been paid but the players contribution hadn't either.

"This had been deducted from their monthly salaries and withheld without their knowledge or authorisation.

"Over the period of the last 12 months the players and staff have achieved above and beyond the expectations of the club while battling the stress and emotion with little satisfactory explanation to why the finances haven't been dealt with correctly.

"At no point has there been an apology to the players or their families for the undue stress and financial predicament the club has put the families in.

"Amidst all of the above struggles to players and their families the players have been incredibly professional in their approach to their job.

"They have always given 100% in matches for the fans who they thank for all their support."

We revealed Fleet's financial problems for the first time back in October 2018.

Fleet were due to host Hartlepool at Stonebridge Road on Saturday but that game was postponed due to a frozen pitch early on Friday morning.

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