People are just going crazy we’ve got this massive wage bill. I honestly don’t see it, says Cray Wanderers' boss Tony Russell

Sunday 28th August 2016

CRAY WANDERERS manager Tony Russell says he finds listening to claims about his big wage bill boring.

The Bromley based club have signed some players that have dropped down from higher leagues and rival clubs believe Russell has a large budget at his disposal this season.

Cray Wanderers are in the middle of the Ryman League Division One South table after drawing Sittingbourne (3-3) and Guernsey (0-0) and beating Faversham Town 1-0 in a high-quality game at Hayes Lane yesterday.

The winner came from substitute Anthony Adesite 11 minutes from time in a game that Faversham keeper Will Godmon, 20, made a couple of double saves, a penalty save from Grant Basey and a world-class save from substitute Max Williams at the death.

Cray Wanderers travel to Chatham Town on Bank Holiday Monday, before travelling to Faversham Town in The FA Cup First Qualifying Round on Saturday.

Chatham suffered a 2-0 defeat at Lewes yesterday and are in the bottom five
with one point from their three league outings.

“I’ve been to watch them, I went to watch them against Walton Casuals last week and I’ve seen them in pre-season,” said Russell.

“Tony Beckingham and Darren Anslow have got a new side there and are trying to put a side together.

“But they’ve got a good side. I think Aaron Rhule out wide, I know he got sent off but I’ve watched him for Mersham, I was keeping tabs on him.  I think he’s a real good player.  Ade Yusuff is a real good player, Luke Medley is a good player. They’ve got some good players with them. He’s trying to gel them all together.

“I said to the boys, Monday will be equally as hard.”

Russell explained why he is keen to knock Faversham Town out of The FA Cup next weekend.

“To be honest with you, I’m rubbish in cups! I won my last round (4-0 at Badshot Lea) so that’s my second in three years in the FA Cup.  My record in the FA Cup is horrendous, that’s in all cups, I’m rubbish.

“But this year it’s the first time we really need the money so it is a big game for us.

“I really could do with that money (£3,000) if I’m honest. We’re trying to bring one or two in.

“The club are fighting for their lives for this ground. I spoke to the club and they have to pay for this barrister to sort this out and it’s coming to thousands and thousands and thousands. We’re all digging in to try to get this done both on-and-off-the-pitch and I’ve got to do my bit.

“The wage bill is the wage bill, they said any money I bring in can go towards trying to improve the squad, which is fair enough.  We won last week which is £1,925 so now for the first time usually I give it back to him, now I’m like ‘ok we need to win this.  My desire is massive to try to win.”

Club’s playing budgets is a very taboo subject in non-league football and Russell revealed his budget during the post-match press conference to quash rumours going around that his club are big spenders.

“People are always going to talk,” said Russell.

“Every manager is obsessed with wage bills! It’s all they ever want to talk about. I must be the only person who isn’t getting it!

“Everyone tells me I’ve got this massive wage bill. I’ve heard, two and a half grand, three grand, three and a half grand, four grand, five grand, six grand. 

“I’ll probably go on record and say this.  Gary Hillman (chairman) is a very approachable man. If you ring him and ask what the wage bill is, if he mentions any of those figures I’ve just said I’ll personally drop that money round to your house, if he says I’ve got those figures.  If I’ve got that money for that wage bill I personally get that money out of the bank and I’ll drop it off round to you because I haven’t got that!

“People are just going crazy we’ve got this massive wage bill. I honestly don’t see it!  It is what it is. I don’t know what everyone else has got. I don’t comment on anyone else’s wage bill.

“When I was at VCD we had peanuts, boys were on £30-£40 and we won the league but I never mentioned anyone’s and we had Sudbury and Harlow in our division.

“Just get on with it, stop whinging about wage bills. It’s just a game of football, let’s just play man. I like to hear managers to get good insight but change the record, let’s talk about football, how good your side is, let’s talk about what you’re doing!

“It’s boring. I just find it a bit boring. God knows that (Greenwich Borough manager) Gary Alexander must feel like? He must pull his hair out. Let’s get on with it!”

Russell revealed that Danny Haynes could be in line for a return at Faversham Town after training on his own before yesterday’s game.

“I expect another good game, they’re also a good side. I think they’ll give us a little bit more at their place, which I think will suit us,” added Russell.

“Hopefully there will be a chance we’ll have Danny Haynes back for that, we’ll see how training us. He’ll be a big plus for us.

“I think it will be a good game between two good sides. I like playing against good sides and Faversham are a good side so I enjoyed yesterday’s game, I really did. I know Ray (Turner) isn’t going to enjoy it as much as me but it’s nice to come up against good managers and good sides as well.”

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Chatham Town  v  Cray Wanderers
Ryman League Division One South
Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Maidstone Road Sports Ground, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR