Gretna saved by SPL... for now

Last updated at 19:04 20 March 2008

Gretna have been handed a cash lifeline by the Scottish Premier League that

will allow them to see out the season.

They will bankroll the stricken club with at least £70,000 - allowing the rest

of their fixtures to be fulfilled.

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Administrators, who are now running the Black and Whites, secured the rescue package after a meeting at Hampden this afternoon.

The cash, which is an advancement of Gretna's prize money due to them at the end of the season, will allow wages to be paid.

David Elliot, of administrators Wilson Field, declined to confirm the exact amount but said the outstanding wages totalled around £70,000.

He told a press conference in Gretna: "The league has now reassured me the

funds are available to keep the players' wages up to date so they are no longer in arrears.

"That was the problem for the players who were at one point considering strike action which they then withdrew.

"Literally we have just driven down from Hampden Park now from the league, and I can confirm there are funds in my administrator's bank account to satisfy the wages and bring them up to speed.

"I have been asked by the league not to go into details of the funding but in my view it is sufficient.

"In relation to the amount of gates we get, I believe they have put together a

package which is sufficient to see the rest of the fixtures out.

"The wage bill which I wish to settle would be of the order of between


The SPL had summoned Elliot to Hampden to seek assurances over the club's

ability to see out the season.

An SPL spokesman said: "It was a useful meeting. The administrator informed us

that he believes Gretna FC will complete its fixtures for the remainder of the

season, starting with their match against Celtic FC on Sunday to be played at

Almondvale Stadium, 2pm kick off."

Elliot stressed it was good news for Gretna who were on the verge of collapsing

altogether after owner Brooks Mileson withdrew his funding.

"I will have all the players into the club tomorrow and I intend to address

them and the coach," he said.

"I will tell them I now have the funds to bring all their wages up to date and

that I have the financial backing of the SPL to see them through until the end

of the season.

"In the main, I have been supported by the players, despite the fact that some

of them wanted to withdraw their services.

"In particular I have relied heavily on Mick Wadsworth, the director of

football who is currently filling the manager's position.

"He has been very, very supportive and very helpful in trying to keep the

squad together."

Gretna's future was plunged into doubt when Mileson was diagnosed with a brain

illness last month.

The departure of manager Davie Irons further added to their woes and Gretna

were called into administration last week.

Three separate buyers are now considering takeover bids.

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