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Ebbsfleet United players not paid on time again and claim club statements are false

ByMatthew Panting

Ebbsfleet's players have issued a collective statement for the third time this season.

The squad have gone public once again at the troubled National League outfit, just days after missing out on reaching the play-offs.

The Fleet players confirm they have not been paid on time again this month - and also claim statements made by the club earlier this month were false.

Ebbsfleet's players have not been paid on time again this month. Picture: Andy Jones
Ebbsfleet's players have not been paid on time again this month. Picture: Andy Jones

Their statement reads: "Contrary to the statements released by the football club and the statements made at the invite-only supporters meeting held at the Kuflink Stadium, not one member of the playing squad received a single penny of compensation or bonus from the football club for the campaign in question.

"The players welcome the club to provide evidence on its website or social media account.

"The continued farcical statements discrediting the players on the matter of medical insurance and pensions along with the vast amount of late payment dates have all been documented by the entire playing squad.

"This includes official emails in writing from both General Medical and Now Pensions validating the fact that the club is guilty of deliberately making misleading and inaccurate statements.

"These emails can and will be published, if necessary, to demonstrate that the club uses its public position to deceive both supporters and the Fleet Trust.

"Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi has broken his signed declaration on the first possible occasion by not paying the playing squad on the agreed date.

"The players are yet to receive their April wages on the date confirmed and signed off by Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi.

"Once again breaking the signed declaration to the playing squad when assuring them they would get paid on time on 25th April 2019 and no later."

Ebbsfleet owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi Picture: Chris Davey

The statement comes just 24 hours after it was revealed that the Fleet could be 'struck off' by Companies House.

The players were responding to a statement published on the club's website following "a 90-minute meeting with around 50 Fleet Trust members and other gathered supporters" on April 5.

The club claimed: "At no stage have players been at risk of playing any matches without medical insurance. They have always been covered. Pension contributions have been met by the club and any shortfall addressed in the past few months.

"All players contracted to 30th June will be paid to 30th June. There was never any intention and nor is there any intention to refuse those payments, contrary to what was claimed in the inaccurate document that was distributed at the recent home game v Wrexham.

"Last summer, following the play-off semi-final, the club made substantial payments to players as recompense for the inconvenience of the late wages up to that point."

Ebbsfleet's players refused to warm up before their game against Wrexham on March 30 until the club's owner signed a document agreeing to pay them on time in April.

The squad then issued their second collective statement of the season at this stage, describing the situation as "an absolute disgrace."

They first went public to KentOnline over late payments in February, breaking their silence in extraordinary circumstances.

Earlier this month the club were threatened with a ban on using their training ground facilities due to an unpaid bill in the region of £30,000.

Ebbsfleet had problems before a ball had even been kicked last summer, with players and staff turning up four days late for the start of pre-season training because they hadn't been paid.

Daryl McMahon spoke out in support of his players Picture: Andy Jones
Daryl McMahon spoke out in support of his players Picture: Andy Jones

The first club employee to go public about the wages was manager Daryl McMahon, who confirmed their October money would be at least eight days late.

He said: “If you were paid eight days late in any other walk of life, most people would probably walk out of work but these players have been the polar opposite.

“You’ve got bills and mortgages to pay and all the stresses and worries of that can be bad.

“The human element of this is not right but the players are sticking together and fighting, as the staff are, for the club, for each other and for the fans."

McMahon left the club by mutual consent two weeks later after Dr Al-Humaidi had given an interview describing his playing budget as "very excessive."

“Spending-wise, you’d assume (we would) be in the top five in the league but that wasn’t the case," he said.

“We’ve made the mistake, since we took over, whereby we spent lots of money and these things need to stop. We have 22 players, excluding academy players, and the number is excessive."

Cuts were made quickly following Garry Hill's appointment as manager, with Kenny Clark, Luke Coulson, Darren McQueen and Sean Shields (on loan) all moved on.

Ebbsfleet's results picked up under Hill, despite the ongoing financial difficulties, and their play-off hopes were only ended on Easter Monday by a 1-0 defeat at home to Dover.

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