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Bosio: “The serious injury has been mentally draining on myself”

We caught up with Gibraltar international Jamie Bosio to get his reaction on Gibraltar United withdrawing from the league, his continuos battle over unpaid medical expenses and his future in football.

Yesterday it was announced that Gibraltar United would be withdrawn from the Gibraltar National League after ongoing financial issues, Bosio gave us his reaction to the news – “Given the way things have escalated in the last few months, to be honest, it’s not surprising whatsoever. Obviously, you try to be hopeful but in this case it was something that everyone could see coming. When players are owed two months wages from the season before going into a new preseason, that’s a sign that things aren’t right. I’m disappointed because I’ve spent three years with Gibraltar United and many people in the local community have an affiliation to this club which had been in existence for a combined total of 75 years. So yes it’s a sad day, but yes the writing was on the wall.”

Salgado and Dana took over at Gibraltar United in April 2017, a move at that time which was massive but would end up leaving a sour taste in the mouths of people in GIbraltar. We asked Bosio if he ever thought a situation like this would have ever come about after their ownership, “When the new investors came in you try to be optimistic and they seemed legitimate. They sold themselves very well at the start and basically told the old owners everything they wanted to hear. Because of Michel Salgado putting his reputation on the line and becoming “the face” of the club we expected nothing but the best. However, that was the first and last time we saw him. Pablo Dana was always in contact with the board and players initially but this is something that started to deteriorate as time went by.”

Late payments became a normal occurence for many of the players but days turned into weeks and now leaves them three months unpaid. We asked Bosio what kind of impact this has had on his former team-mate, “Most of my teammates are obviously distraught, especially those from last season who had put in endless hours of hard work and sacrifice with no reward. It’s not fair that players give up so much (especially those with family and children abroad) to be treated in this way. Especially now so close to the start of the new season, it’s also going to be difficult for them to find new clubs as most teams are probably set on their final squad numbers by now.”

A serious injury last season forced Jamie Bosio to seek medical treatement abroad – on his return, the club refused to reimburse him which resulted in almost taking up the situation in court – Bosio told us more, “My injury is something that they mismanaged from the time it happened in October last year. At that moment, when a club stops caring for a players health is when I knew my relationship with them could end very badly. Unfortunately, that is what happened… To this day I have spent out of pocket over £16,000 in medical fees, that include my operation, consultations, scans and physio sessions. The club itself doesn’t have any player medical insurance. I was told that things would be taken care of yet here we are nearly a whole year later with not a penny received. And now, it’s looking highly unlikely that any of that will ever be paid back to me. If a club cannot care for its players in the human aspect then it shouldn’t be selling itself as a “professional” set up.”

312 days later, Bosio’s recovery goes from stride to stride but still no payment in sight from Gibraltar United – we asked if the club has made any type of confirmation regarding the payment, “I’ve been waiting for months for a meeting to try to settle the debts amicably or try to some sort of compromise but to no avail. To his credit, Adrian Ballestero has tried his best but this and much more issues at the club go beyond him and can only be dealt with by the owners and directors. If the club owes players (not just me) money then someone surely should be held accountable, or is it ok for them to walk away from their problems and leave this mess behind? Surely the GFA need to look into the investors of local clubs that come from abroad and make sure they are legit in what they are offering.”

After the season kicked off last night, it’s a last minute rush for his team-mates and him to make arrangements with other clubs – we asked what the future holds for the 27-year old, “At the moment I’m completely disillusioned with football in Gibraltar. The serious injury has been mentally draining on myself but this added to it has been awful. I’m strongly considering my next move, ignoring all financial aspects and looking to go somewhere where I will enjoy playing football again. I’m focusing on getting myself match fit again and keeping on top of my rehabilitation programme above all else.”

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Social media reacts to Gibraltar United news

Following the news of Gibraltar United withdrawing from the Gibraltar National League, we got social media’s, as well as former player’s reaction to the news.

A historic club which is so well known around Gibraltar has today withdrawn from the Gibraltar National League and as a result, have had licenses rescinded with immediate effect. Consequently, as per GFA Regulations, neither Club will be able to re-apply for membership of the GFA for a minimum period of five years.

FG approached Quantocoin for a statement regarding the withdrawn agreement but at the time of writing, did not answer.

Chino, who captained the side last season, told FG “Incredibly sad to see the club dissapear after so much hard work has gone into it.”

Former Gibraltar United captain Andrew Lopez spoke to FG about the news, “Regarding the situation with Gibraltar United, I feel disgraced. Gibraltar is a club I have played for winning the premier league back in 2001 as an 18-year-old under one of the best managers around at the time Richard Duarte. I managed to stay on for a couple of more years back then, holding the fort with several others including Kenneth Asquez, who had love and passion for this club. I hand on as player/manager and played for both premier and reserves team back then, but this was not good enough as the club disappeared after several years of fighting and persuading players. Later, some of the ex-players such as Damian Rocca, Daniel Wahnon and a few others decided to put together a meeting and revive the Gibraltar United legacy. We managed to register the team and bring back all the young local players who used to play for this club and had a lot of love and passion for this team, without a doubt they returned to us. We were all locals, and this was our motto! And believe me some great local players involved which gave us enough strength and ‘amor propio’ to get us through the first every 2nd Division league after Gibraltar joined UEFA. Some very strong teams in 2nd division, probably the hardest league of the lot. Gibraltar United won the league and were automatically promoted, I can proudly say I captained the side yet again and we made the dream come true. Money was now the issue and unfortunately the staff did not respect our willingness to continue as ‘Only Gibraltarians’ after working so hard for this club. I was pushed out as captain and then the rest of the locals followed as a domino effect, leaving those who really had passion for the club in no other option but to leave to other teams and compete against Gib Utd. Gibraltar have now been several years fighting for a UEFA spot under the new regime ‘SALGADO/DANA’ who offered payments via BITCOIN. As we all well know now, Gib Utd have missed out on a UEFA spot for several years and have not proved their worth, there was no passion in this team anymore, filled with foreigners and locals who prefer money rather than fighting for the red and white colors. The ‘Investors’, have now pulled out and Gibraltar has yet again disappeared, I feel this is well-deserved due to depending on people who don’t really care about the club just wanted to find a sort of investment or other reasons to input monies into this club, goes to show how it has sadly ended. As last real Gibraltarian Captain of this club, (apart from Chino who signed later and held on after me), I feel disgraced, sad and sorry to see my club disappear yet again. This is football now a days!”

Kenneth Asquez, son of Pepe Asquez who was President of the club during the early 80’s to mid 90’s, said “Its is sad for local football to hear that team with such a historic and rich heritage like Gibraltar United is folding as a result of financial issues with foreign investors coming into football for the wrong reasons.

On a personal note the matter is compounded due to having spent a substantial amount of my life attached to the club, as was my father. I have very good friends still there and feel for them.

I hope those investors will come out publicly now and give us an explanation, everyone deserves one, due to the heritage of this club.

These individuals need to be held accountable after all the exposure they made in local and international media using international stars like Michel Salgado and Roberto Carlos to give themselves credibility in an industry they clearly knew nothing about.

Its now time for the League and Association to work together and that is what they must do. The GFA and the clubs should sit down and decide how they want to move forward perhaps going back to the basics from pre UEFA Climate days. There is a structure in place under the auspices of the League Association it’s about time to empower the individuals who have the best interests of the game and our children at heart. Crucial for me, and have been saying it since before a ball was even kicked after gaining entry into UEFA, is to agree on a formula to share the prize money from competing in European Competitions.

Lets bring football back home!”

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Pay up or Leave for Gibraltar United

The Gibraltar FA have allegedly informed Gibraltar United that if their debts aren’t fulfilled by next week then they will be removed from the Gibraltar National League.

April 3rd 2017 was the date news broke out of Gibraltar United partnering up with Victor Pablo Dana, CEO & Founder of Heritage Sports Holdings in Dubai and Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado, a move which was expected to provide more competition at the top of the league.

After finishing 4th place in 2017-18, one point behind St Joseph’s who qualified for Europa League, the following season saw a poor run of results before Christmas would ultimately prevent Gib Utd from any chance of competing higher up the table. However, they found themselves in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup final, which they would go on to lose 3-0 to Europa -and miss out on Europa League qualification for the second straight season.

While on the pitch results were good, financially, Gibraltar United were going through a tough time. Late payments were a regular occurrence for the players in 2017/18 and it would gradually get worse as the seasons went on from a few days to a few weeks and now a few months.

On the contrary to our post a few weeks back, we received confirmation that Pablo Dana is still within Gibraltar United but looking to sell the club. Leading up to the Gibtelecom Rock Cup final, players were still missing wages and still to this day, have received nothing which is now adding up to three months.

Past players such as Chino, Michael Negrette & Tito De Torres have confirmed to FG that they are missing two months wages while the players who are missing more than two months wages went on strike ,which meant last year’s squad didn’t turn up to train, while this season’s new recruits did.

FG understands that the new players had June’s house rent covered, but would have to pay extra so they could sort themselves out from then on. Still with no payments, players have been evicted from their houses and forced to cram into an overcrowded house. Unpaid wages mean that not only can the players not afford to feed themselves, certain individuals are sold a dream and cannot send money back to feed their own families.

The Gibraltar FA was informed of the current financial situation with Dana, signing a letter agreeing to pay all his debts – and if nothing is done before Monday 12th August then Gibraltar United will be removed from the league.

At the time of writing, we have been made aware that no payments have been made and certain individuals in the club have been told that it will remain that way.

Gibraltar United answered FG’s question – “The club and the GFA are currently in discussion. Once those discussions are over we will be in a position to make a statement.”

FG also reached out to the Gibraltar FA but at the time of publication were yet to receive a response.

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Europa retain Gibtelecom Rock Cup for a third year

Second half goals from Manuel Arana, Urko Arroyo and a Liam Walker penalty helped Europa beat Gibraltar United 3-0 and retain the Gibtelecom Rock Cup for a third consecutive year.

In the pre-Rock Cup press conference, Europa head coach Rafa Escobar didn’t give any hints as to his who his three HGP’s following the suspension of Tjay De Barr. As expected, it would be Dayle Coleing named alongside Liam Walker & Ethan Jolley.

Alberto Zapata had a glorious chance to score in the first fifteen minutes but volleyed his close range shot over the bar. Ten minutes later, Europa would reply as Manuel Arana shot just wide from inside the box.

There wasn’t much between the teams for the rest of the half apart from Liam Walker’s free-kick which was well saved by Kyle Goldwin. Herbert Warwick blew for half-time with the score locked at 0-0.

Goldwin was called into action, making an excellent save to keep out a shot from Manuel Dimas. After starting the half strong, Europa got their goal through Manuel Arana as he beat Erin Barnett to the ball, run on goal and fired past Goldwin.

Less than ten minutes later and Europa doubled their lead, Arana went from scorer to provider as he set up Urko Arroyo to slot the ball in from close.

Things went from bad to worse for Gibraltar United as Europa made it 3-0 minutes later as Liam Walker scored from the penalty spot. The holder nearly got a fourth but Goldwin did well to save a shot from Dimas.

Gibraltar United bench were furious with the decision not to send off Manuel Arana after his altercation with Carlos Carrasco. Francis Huart walked back to the bench then out of nowhere whipped out a Lincoln shirt and start shouting towards the Europa fans. This foolish act would see the Gibraltar United delegate sent to stands.

Europa held on to their lead and retained the Gibtelecom Rock Cup.

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Barnett: “It was an extremely disciplined performance from the whole team”

We spoke to Erin Barnett about Gibraltar United’s Rock Cup semi-final win, his season so far and more.

Barnett reflected on his teams performance after their 1-0 win over Mons Calpe, “I feel that the performance from the whole team was exactly as we had planned. We have spent a lot of hours preparing on the training ground for this important game, and i am glad that our hard work paid off. Being a Semi Final, We knew that it was going to be a very tight game between two similarly matched sides, and we are extremely happy as a team to have been able to take our chances and progress to the final. It was an extremely disciplined performance from the whole team, from 1 to 11, and i feel that keeping a clean sheet was fundamental in ensuring that we won the game.”

Gibraltar United will play Europa in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup final with the winner heading to the Europa League. We asked how it felt to have another shot at European football after missing out on it on the final day of last season, “To be honest, missing out on european football last season in such circumstances was extremely difficult, and therefore, to be able to have another huge opportunity this season is extremely rewarding and is fruits of the hard work that the whole team has put in. It still hurts when i think back to last season, and this certainly gives us that extra drive and determination going in to the final this year.”

Currently sitting fifth in the league with five games to go and now in the Rock Cup final – Barnett reflected on his sides season so far, “The season this year has been very strange. There has been many difficult and challenging times throughout the season, and as a result there has been many changes within the team. If we are completely honest with ourselves, this season has been rather disappointing in terms of our league position, and especially considering how we started the season. Nevertheless, winning the Rock Cup will make it an extremely successful season, and therefore, we will use the next six weeks to recover and prepare ourselves in order to give us the best possible chance of winning.”

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup Quarter Final: Predictions

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-finals kicks off tomorrow and here are our predictions.

Gibraltar United vs FC Olympique (Tuesday 12th March – 18:15)

After losing to St Joseph’s last weekend, Gib Utd’s only possible chance of getting into Europe would be winning this year’s Rock Cup. Olympique were unlucky in the final of the Second Division Cup, losing 2-1 to Magpies but with match fitness playing a major factor in their defeat then you’d expect the same to happen again.

Prediction: Gibraltar United win.

St Joseph’s vs Mons Calpe (Tuesday 12th March – 20:30)

A tasty fixture indeed, Saints flying while Mons’ victory over Boca would be a good confidence booster after a poor run of results. Mons have won three of their last five meeting against Saints but with Boro & Juanfri scoring 36 goals between them, you just feel that they’ll play a big part tomorrow night.

Prediction: St Joseph’s win.

Gibraltar Phoenix vs Lions Gibraltar (Wednesday 13th March – 18:15)

Like Gibraltar United, Phoenix’s defeat to Lincoln last weekend leaves them with winning the Rock Cup as their only chance of qualifying into Europe. You would expect Labra and co to sweep aside Lions and progress.

Prediction: Gibraltar Phoenix win.

Brunos Magpies vs Europa (Wednesday 13th March – 20:30)

In an interview with FG, Matheus Assumpcao spoke about how he wished to test himself against Europa and two days later, Magpies’ star-man got his wish. After going unbeaten in the Second Division and winning the Second Division Cup, Europa will be their biggest task this season. We’d be expecting a professional display from the holders as they can’t afford to switch off against Assumpcao, Wyatt and Cuesta.

Prediction: Europa win.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup Second Round: Predictions

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup second round kicks off tomorrow evening and here are our predictions.

St Joseph’s vs FC Hound Dogs (Wednesday 6th February – 8:30pm)

Saints come into the game on the back of a 8-0 thrashing of Glacis and would be expected to continue that goalscoring form against the side which sit bottom of the Second Division. Raul Procopio’s squad isn’t the biggest so we could see him putting out a strong squad.

Prediction: St Joseph’s win.

Mons Calpe vs College 1975 (Thursday 7th February – 6:15pm)

Just like the St Joseph’s game, this one will probably end up in a quite heavy scoreline. College got beat 5-1 by Manchester 62 in the Cup last weekend, while Mons Calpe will be looking for a confidence booster after their defeat to Gibraltar United. With a bigger squad, Blanco could use certain players from his Intermediate squad for some valuable minutes.

Prediction: Mons Calpe win.

Lincoln Red Imps vs Europa (Thursday 7th February – 8:30pm)

It was raining goals for Lincoln last weekend as they shipped eleven past Boca – Giovanni Rodriguez and Hector Figueroa have impressed since joining in January while ex-Europa forward Kike got himself a hat-trick on his debut. The holders will be hoping to try and get one over their rivals after losing 3-2 earlier on in the season but could see defeat as a blessing with more focus being put into winning the league.

Prediction: Lincoln win.

Manchester 62 vs Gibraltar United (Friday 8th February – 8:30pm)

It has been a difficult few months for Gibraltar United but last week’s win over Mons Calpe could be the turning point needed and they’d hope to continue it against Manchester. The Red Devils invested well in January and it showed in their Cup win against College with ex-Gib Utd striker Robert Montovio getting on the scoresheet but their number one keeper Christian Lopez saw red which will give them a problem going into the game.

Prediction: Gibraltar United win.

Lynx vs Gibraltar Phoenix (Saturday 9th February – 4pm)

This one could be a very interesting tie; two sides doing well at the moment with Phoenix slightly edging it with more goals scored. Lynx have proved to be a tough test to Lincoln and Europa in the last couple of weeks so their opponents should not take them lightly.

Prediction: Phoenix win on penalties.

Glacis United vs Lions (Saturday 9th February – 6:15pm)

Lions will be looking to exact revenge after their 3-1 loss in January, it was quite an even game until conceding an own goal just before half-time which ultimately changed the game. Glacis will be hoping to welcome Alan Parker and Nacho Fernandez back into the squad while Mariano Pereira and Courtney Lewis miss out through suspension.

Prediction: Lions win on penalties.

Europa Point vs FC Olympique (Saturday 9th February – 8:30pm)

Another interesting encounter -, both teams in good form and in with a good chance of progressing. Europa Point will be happy to welcome back their main man Cristian Nunez Chaves from suspension while their opponents come into the game off the back of a whopping 12-3 win over Leo in the 2nd Division Cup.

Prediction: Olympique win on penalties.

FC Boca Juniors vs Brunos Magpies (Sunday 10th February – 4pm)

Magpies did take a heavy hit to their squad in January but with a front three of Assumpcao, Wyatt & Cuesta – it doesn’t really matter what is behind you, they are that good. Yet to be properly tested in the Second Division, Dave Wilson’s men will be looking at the Rock Cup as a idea of where the club is going ahead of next season. It will be another difficult task for Boca and one which we don’t see them winning.

Prediction: Magpies win.