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Byrne first to leave as PFAI start fight over contracts; ANOTHER CLUB BITES THE DUST RIVALS TRACKING STARS.


THE Monaghan United exodus is under way with Alan Byrne joining Drogheda - and Sligo Rovers monitoring Keith Quinn.

Cork City, Dundalk and Longford Town have also expressed interest in some players with more departures expected.

Midfielder Byrne, 28, is on his way to Drogheda having worked under former Mons boss Mick Cooke in the past.

And Quinn is in demand with Bit O'Red boss Ian Baraclough keeping tabs.

Shell-shocked Mons players trained in Dublin's Phoenix Park yesterday under player-coach Shaun Maher and boss Roddy Collins.

The PFAI have stepped in to cover player insurance and will oversee the training facility while the St Pat's physio is also at the sessions.

"We have the money to do this whereas Monaghan don't," said PFAI chief Stephen McGuinness.

Mons players - four weeks without wages tomorrow - can use the facility to keep their fitness in check until they get new clubs.

In fact any out-of-contract League of Ireland players, as well as Irish players returning from clubs in the UK, can attend.

Monaghan United's professional players can move clubs immediately while amateurs must wait until July 1. Monaghan United made the dramatic decision to pull out of the League of Ireland on Monday. And players were left stunned after discovering on Twitter that they were losing their jobs.

A PFAI delegation led by Stephen McGuinness and Ollie Cahill met the players on Tuesday night and Mons boss Collins was also there.

"The players are still bitterly disappointed that all of this happened so quickly," said PFAI chief McGuinness last night.

And the PFAI are determined to nail down talks with chairman Jim McGlone.

The club insists they will pay off their debts to creditors but the players union have no idea when that will be.

The PFAI have written to Monaghan officials, detailing what they understand to be all the monies owed to the squad.

"The players expected to be sat down by the club and told exactly what is happening, but so far that hasn't happened," said McGuinness.

And he added: "We are also looking at the timeframe of contracts to see if the players are entitled to redundancy payments.

"Also, we expect Monaghan to honour contracts in full if a player doesn't get a club. The players want transparency and things done right," he added.

The Irish Mirror was unsuccessful in attempts to contact Mons chairman Jim McGlone for a comment last night.

But in Monday's statement he said the club wanted to "assure all our creditors that all accounts with them will continue to be honoured".


UNITED'S WANTED Alan Byrne and Keith Quinn (inset) could both be leaving Monaghan
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jun 22, 2012
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