PFA Scotland lodged a formal complaint with the Scottish Football League on behalf of its members at Dunfermline Athletic FC. The club - currently fourth in the Scottish second league - is having big problems with the payment of players’ salaries, bonuses and appearance monies.
Last Friday, the PFA lodged its complaint. For some months now Dunfermline has been unable to pay the players’ salaries on time and January’s wage was only paid in full last week. Only 20% of February’s salary had been paid until PFA complained. Reacting to the complaint, Dunfermline stated it would pay 50 percent of February’s salary that same Friday.
PFA Scotland Chief Executive Fraser Wishart spoke in support of the players: ‘Our members have shown a great deal of patience and understanding in recent months. Players at that level are not highly paid therefore any delay in payment of wages can lead to hardship, inconvenience and upset.’
‘As professional footballers they understand the importance that a football club has in the eyes of the fans and the community and they thank those who have sent messages of support.’
‘There comes a time however when as a squad they have to make a stand and invoke their statutory rights. In addition to the late payment of salaries there are outstanding win bonuses and appearance monies due for quite some time. The club has advised our members that they are unable to provide an undertaking that the outstanding sums will be paid and so appear not to be able guarantee a remedy to the contractual breaches.’
‘PFA Scotland has therefore been instructed to intimate a formal complaint to the SFL for illegal deduction of our members’ salary and for breach of contract by the club.’
Wishart considers this type of situation as one that has to be dealt with quickly by football authorities. ‘When there is a dispute between a player and club it can take some time to follow due process. When dealing with the Hearts non payment of salaries in late 2011/early 2012 however, the Scottish Premier League acknowledged that in these type of circumstances where players are going without pay it is necessary to expedite the process.’
‘I am sure the Scottish Football League Board will recognise the importance of this matter both to our members but also to helping the club through this difficult time by ensuring that it can complete its fixtures for the season. Any efforts the SFL can make to in ensuring that payment is forthcoming would therefore be welcomed by our members.’
‘Given the unique circumstances of this matter, and the hardship being caused to our members, we have requested that the SFL Board set up an adjudication panel to hear our members’ complaints as a matter of considerable urgency.’
‘Dunfermline is a proud club with a great history within Scottish football and our members will continue to assist with its survival. What cannot go on however is that our members, who are not highly paid, are asked to turn up for training when they cannot justify the travel costs and then put themselves at risk of injury on a weekly basis without any sign of being paid.’
- Published: 04 March 2013