03 August 2012

City's future looks bleak after unpaid players issue deadline

By Rhod Mitchell, West Briton

The future of Truro City as a Blue Square Bet South club was hanging by a thread tonight after the squad gave the club a seven day deadline to pay the wages they are owed.

If the money is not paid by 10am next Thursday, then the players will reluctantly quit City, just over a week before they are due to start the new season at Billericay Town on Saturday August 18, plunging the club into further turmoil.

The bulk of the squad have signed contracts, which they say they will allow to go into the league, but have also given 14 days notice that if the owed wages are not paid they will be leaving.

That notice can be revoked at any time if the money is forthcoming.

The latest dramatic developments came after the squad was addressed at training at Tregye, near Truro, this evening by City vice-chairman Chris Webb, in the absence of chairman Kevin Heaney, who he told the players was in London meeting with the investors who want to take over the club.

It is understood an impasse between Mr Heaney and the London-based group has led to the present situation with no funds available to pay the long-suffering players who had to undergo a similar scenario last season.

Webb refused to comment after leaving the meeting, but the players were not so reticent and many were visibly distraught at the latest sad turn of events. Many fear this could finally be the end of the road after an unprecedented run of success.

Bankrolled by chairman Kevin Heaney the club has risen from from the South-Western League to within two promotions of the Football League, with a FA Vase win at Wembley along the way.

But now unless the money is forthcoming, the club will face the prospect of either pulling out of Blue Square Bet South attracting severe penalties or fulfilling the fixtures with reserve team players.

It will be a reserve team who travel to Tiverton for a friendly on Saturday and it is highly unlikely Tuesday's scheduled friendly against St Blazey will go ahead.

Striker Stewart Yetton said: "It is a very sad state of affairs. It does not look very hopeful."

Skipper Jake Ash said: "The realism is that as a group of players we do not want to see the club go down the leagues. We have given the club the best opportunity by handing our forms in. It is horrible. There does not seem to be any winner.

"We all feel so sorry for the supporters who have been fantastic."

Manager Lee Hodges said: "It is a very sad situation two weeks before the start of the season for everyone involved at the club now and in the past. The players are gutted."

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