14th Dec, 2018

Bromsgrove Sporting chairman to meet players to resolve Boxing Day wages fiasco

Craig Gibbons 10th Jan, 2018 Updated: 10th Jan, 2018

BROMSGROVE Sporting chairman Mike Burke has vowed to meet the players to resolve the fiasco over the alleged non-payment of expenses for Boxing Day.

He also revealed a new code of conduct would be put in place after a social media outburst by three players.

Reece Hewitt had expressed his disappointment on a Facebook fan group that those involved in Sporting’s league game against Worcester City on Boxing Day did not get paid, calling on Mr Burke to ‘sort himself out’.

Josh Quaynor and Craig Jones also joined the fray before the post was subsequently removed prior to Monday night’s supporters’ forum.

After a heated discussion at the forum, Mr Burke revealed a new code of conduct would be put in place to prevent such outbursts from happening again.

“It is disappointing we have had to come to this because players should know automatically not to go on social media and put the club into disrepute,” he said.

“Normally, the manager (Paul Smith) is the only person to speak directly to the players but on this occasion I will be sitting down with them to get to the bottom of the situation.

“The lads are paid well for this level of football because we are an ambitious club with a huge fan base to support that.

“These players are not Sunday league players, they are semi-professionals, so we are disappointed when they do things like this on social media.

“I will talk to the players but I will not make an example of any of them.”

A statement released last night (Tuesday) by Sporting’s communications officer, Phil Baker, added: “Whilst it is not our intention to comment on the specifics of the club’s budget or arrangements with individual players, we can confirm that in line with many clubs at this level and above, players payments are paid on a weekly basis, irrespective of the number of games played.

“If a player does not play during the week, even if due to matches being cancelled, then no payment is made.

“This is the norm throughout non-league football and has been the case with Bromsgrove Sporting for this and previous seasons – nothing has changed and all players are aware of the situation.”

Mr Baker added for the week of the Boxing Day match, players due a payment were paid four days early which he believed had led to the misunderstanding of a missed payment.

However, manager Paul Smith was left frustrated that a compromise could not be reached at the forum, especially after three matches prior to the Boxing Day game had been postponed.

During those weeks players still had to train, with some travelling more than 50 miles to do so, and go without payment.

“This money is needed for bills and it is huge for them,” he told the Standard.

“The issue players have is they have trained, we have got to Christmas and players have usually had a bonus but they did not have one this year.

“They have stayed in on New Year’s Eve as well and had no game the next day so they hoped after 12 training sessions they would be given a Boxing Day wage.

“I put it to the board but they said no.”

He added the players deserved a wage, even if was not full pay.

“I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea because I understand Mike’s position and the player’s position.”

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