Sam speaks out on player bonus row

Last updated : 28 April 2004 By Michael Morris
It's been reported over the last couple of days that City are dropping players before they play the number of matches required to earn a bonus.

It started with the omission of Gareth Whalley from the squad that went to Preston. Since then Mark Bonner has spoken out and said he was in a similar position. Also Alan Lee is close to getting his bonus but Lennie has said he'll be rested on Saturday after his trip to Poland with Ireland.

The Sam Hammam article from todays Echo is as follows.

SAM Hammam has called a halt to the 'spend, spend, spend' culture at Ninian Park.

And that could mean Gareth Whalley and Alan Lee, caught up in a row over bonus payments, won't play in either of Cardiff City's last two Nationwide League matches of the season.

They are each due a £50,000 payment for appearing in half of the First Division matches - and both are one game short.

Whalley, a quiet man, has unwittingly been caught up in the bonus payments storm and Hammam said: "I just don't believe he stormed out from training. That is not like Gareth Whalley. He is a gentle man and a good professional."

Bluebirds owner Hammam insists there has been no instruction to manager Lennie Lawrence not to play any player because of the bonus scheme, but says: "I have asked for prudence where possible."

That covers all areas of the club, including team matters where Hammam and Lawrence will keep a check on spending until work on the new stadium starts this autumn.

There is also talk of the PFA getting involved. See story below from the Western Mail.

THE Professional Footballers' Association has been called in to sort out the bonus row which has erupted at Cardiff City.

PFA officials were last night acting as trouble-shooters in an attempt to resolve the furore surrounding the Bluebirds' 23-game bonus payment scheme.

Under the system, it is understood all senior City players are eligible to receive a windfall of around £50,000 once they have made 23 Nationwide League outings.

A row broke out after midfielder Gareth Whalley - one appearance short of the 23-game mark - was dropped by Lennie Lawrence for Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Preston, despite having played the previous 10 games.