Bloaters’ dispute settled

The dispute over expenses which saw the majory of Great Yarmouth Town’s first teamers refuse to play in the last game was settled today (Friday), against a background of manager Paul Tong’s offer to resign being refused.

“The club has worked to try to resolve the situation. I offered to stand down, having sided with the players, but I have been asked to stay in charge,” said Tong after a meeting with chairman Stephen Brierley.

“The club has put a plan into operation. Whatever happens, they (the players) will get their money. To be fair, the chairman has made it clear that everybody will get what they are due over a period of time. I am confident the majority will still play for the club.”

Tong praised the efforts of the club, led by the chairman and vice-chairman, in difficult economic times. “They have supported the club over the last three years and you have to respect what they are trying to do. They have put a number of things in place that will help carry the club forward.”

Tong admitted to “a few sleepless nights” this week after the majority of his first team squad refused to play in Tuesday’s home Norfolk Senior Cup tie against King’s Lynn Town. The side the Bloaters managed to put out, in the absence of Tong, lost 5-1.

“When 11 players out of a squad of 15 decide to do what they did, I have to respect their decision. The majority have played for me at a number of clubs.”

Tong’s dilemma between club and players showed when he added: “I stand by what I did (backing his squad), but you have to appreciate what the club is trying to do in a very difficult economic climate.”

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Most of the current squad saw Yarmouth promoted to the Ridgeons League top section, the Premier Division, last season.

This campaign, despite no home league win, the Bloaters are 15th of 22 clubs, having won five games, drawn eight and lost eight.

“Now we have got to focus, get back to playing football and what we are doing in the league,” said Tong.

The Bloaters were due to entertain Hadleigh in a league game at the Wellesley tomorrow (Sturday). “We have got a team, we have put a side together,” said Tong, only for the game to be postponed.