Football: Barnet in pay dispute

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The Independent Online
STAN FLASHMAN, the Barnet chairman, was at the centre of yet another dispute yesterday after 20 players handed in a communal transfer request, throwing the Third Division club's pre-season preparations into disarray.

The latest turmoil at the north London club began when the players opened their pay packets to discover a cash shortfall. 'They are all fuming,' Barry Fry, the manager, said. 'Their loyalty has been unquestionable, but when they saw their wages they decided enough is enough. Now I'm desperately trying to keep the club together.'

Fry has often been at loggerheads with Flashman, who allegedly sacked him after a promotion play-off match in May only to reinstate him the next day.

When the players, who have already been in touch with the Professional Footballers' Association, attempted to confront Flashman, they were told he was ill and could not see them.

'We were going to take strike action, but the manager talked us out of that,' Gary Phillips, the club's PFA representative and players' spokesman, said. 'None of us want to play for Stan Flashman because of his treatment of the players and staff alike.'

Alan Shearer, the Southampton striker coveted by most leading clubs, will be held to the remaining three years of his contract unless someone matches Southampton's pounds 4m valuation, his manager, Ian Branfoot, said yesterday.

Diego Maradona is trying to end his relationship with Napoli by buying his freedom from the Italian club, who hold his contract for another year.

The 31-year-old former Argentinian international, who plans to play for Boca Juniors in a friendly match tomorrow, has refused Napoli's request to return for pre- season training following the end of his 15-month ban from the game for failing a dope test.

Andreas Brehme, Internazionale's 31-year-old German defender, is to join the Spanish First Division club Real Zaragoza for pounds 160,000.