NORTH GOING SOUTH: Players wait for pay as Hoppers’ debts hit $130,000

NORTH Albury’s financial woes are worse than first thought.
The Hoppers are up to $130,000 in the red.
The true extent of the club’s money troubles were detailed yesterday when outgoing president Paul Spencer revealed the Hoppers had not seen a cent from the struggling North Albury Sports Club — one of their major backers.
North Albury was forced to clear the air with its playing group at training this week as questions continued to be asked about outstanding player payments from last season.
A host of key players — including reigning Doug Strang medallist Adam Prior — are believed to be owed match payments from last season.
Spencer, who will stand down after seven years as president later this month, revealed the struggles of the North Albury Sports Club had hit the football department, and hard.
“North Albury Sports Club is one of our major backers and, as everyone knows, it’s struggled over the last two or three years, which has resulted in us not receiving any money, at all,” Spencer said.
“We had a meeting with the players the other day where we put it all on the line.
“We’re probably around that $120,000 to $130,000 mark all up.
“We’ve had a lot of support from a lot of our suppliers who have been understanding.
“The footy club is 100 per cent owned by the sports club and for the past 18 months to two years we’ve had no financial backing at all.”
The news came after the Hoppers’ other major financial backer, Allan Endresz, told The Border Mail in an interview this week the club had about $80,000 outstanding in debt.
That figure soared considerably yesterday.
Endresz has confirmed his commitment to supporting the club through what he labelled one of the darkest periods in its history.
North Albury does not directly pay former AFL star Jason Akermanis to coach the club, with the 2001 Brownlow medallist an employee of Endresz at Ezybonds.