Gretna administrators release 22 players

The SPL strugglers moved a closer to extinction last night when the club's administrators issued redundancy notices to nine first-team players, 13 youth players, one scout and the six-strong community coaching team.

The administrators, Wilson Field, took the dramatic course of action to keep the club alive but the players will now have until Monday to find new clubs or face unemployment until the summer.

Chris Innes, their former captain, David Bingham, Mark Birch, Mickael Buscher, Aurelien Collin, Henry Makinwa, David Mathieson, Erik Paartalu and Michael Tait have all packed their bags at Raydale Park. Fabian Yantorno was released on Tuesday because they could no longer afford his medical treatment.

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As well as the first-team squad members, Gretna have also issued redundancy notices to Ray Farningham, the club's European scout, and Mario Campagna, Jake Cunningham, Liam Cusack, Grant Easton, Nicholas Faulds, Conor Grant, Joseph Hughes, Callum McKinlay, Christopher Moffet, Jack Pattison, Alex Redfern, Ryan O'Hara and Daniel Smee from the youth squad.

Six community coaches were also dismissed yesterday morning: Kevin Somerville, Darren Edmondson, Paul Menlove, Ross Murray, David Bradbury and Kenni Dinnell.

Operations manager Craig Mileson, the son of erstwhile owner Brooks, has also reportedly ended his association with Gretna. The club have already been docked 10 points for slipping into administration after illness prevented Mileson from signing cheques. Administrators announced last week that finance had been secured from the Scottish Premier League to fulfil their remaining fixtures in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

But yesterday's announcement leaves the club with a skeleton staff as they prepare for a league match against St Mirren on Saturday that could confirm relegation.

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