Football

Bray Wanderers Have Had Their Say On Those Serious Fraud Allegations

Bray Wanderers Have Had Their Say On Those Serious Fraud Allegations

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As you may have seen this morning, some potentially severe allegations were directed at Bray Wanderers in the Irish Mail on Sunday. The allegations stem from two whistleblowers who formerly worked for the club. These individuals claim that invoices totalling over €450,000 were used to claim government funding for work on the Carlisle Grounds but subsequently never appeared in the club's accounts.

According to the report, the club received "€1,463,500 in Government funding between 1998 and 2009". However, in that time the club "spent only €927,212 on capital fixtures and fittings".

Bray are currently in the midst of a change of ownership process and, as such, that has led some to speculate about the timing of these allegations. The club have this afternoon released a statement which appears to link opposition to the change of ownership to today's fraud allegations.

Regrettably, over the past few weeks the Club has become aware of attempts to prevent the proposed new administration taking place and canvassing the Club to engage in a commercial property development of the Carlisle Grounds. The Club do not accept that this is the way forward.

Bray Wanderers are committed to keeping Premier League football in the town ,to keeping the Carlisle Grounds open for football and prevent it falling into the hands of property developers, and to move forward with the exciting plans for the coming season and beyond with new investors, local youth and football clubs and the involvement of an enthusiastic community.

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Ultimately, the proposed new administration, whom it seems have released this statement, have distanced themselves from any possible wrongdoing and have said that they will fully co-operate with any investigations.

As is well known the new administration were not involved in the years 2006 to 2008 when there was an entirely different Board of Directors in control. However, we will cooperate with any official enquiry and will continue to try and get the community of Bray focussed on our football and community endeavours.

Here's the statement in full as per the club's website:

In October last, Officers past and present of the Club met with officials from the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport concerning grant-aid to the club under various Sports Capital Programmes.

One of the conditions attaching to grant approvals was that the project might be subject to inspection by representatives of the Department. The Club was selected to form part of the Department’s 2014 Capital Inspection Programme.

This inspection duly took place on October 9th last. The Club provided all information requested and cooperated fully with the Department’s inquiries.

The Club has heard nothing further since then and is not aware of any issue arising from any sports grants received at any time by the Club. It has never been contacted by An Garda Siochana and is entirely unaware of any Garda investigation.
The Club has been and is always prepared to provide the fullest cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sports and An Garda Siochana.

The Club’s financial books and records are and have been independently audited each financial year and its affairs are entirely compliant .There have never been any issues raised concerning irregularities in its accounts including for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Regrettably, over the past few weeks the Club has become aware of attempts to prevent the proposed new administration taking place and canvassing the Club to engage in a commercial property development of the Carlisle Grounds. The Club do not accept that this is the way forward.

Bray Wanderers are committed to keeping Premier League football in the town ,to keeping the Carlisle Grounds open for football and prevent it falling into the hands of property developers, and to move forward with the exciting plans for the coming season and beyond with new investors ,local youth and football clubs and the involvement of an enthusiastic community

As is well known the new administration were not involved in the years 2006 to 2008 when there was an entirely different Board of Directors in control. However, we will cooperate with any official enquiry and will continue to try and get the community of Bray focussed on our football and community endeavours.

Gary Reilly

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