Rice hits out at Borough after Privett Park exit

Former Gosport Borough keeper Martin Rice Picture: Malcolm Wells
Former Gosport Borough keeper Martin Rice Picture: Malcolm Wells
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Martin Rice has hit out at Gosport Borough after claiming the club failed to deliver promises made to him.

The keeper, who signed from Truro City during the summer, says he was convinced to move to Privett Park after being ‘sold the dream’ by manager Alex Pike and chairman Mark Hook.

Rice alleges that included wages comparable to the professional deal he signed at Torquay in 2011.

But the switch turned sour after the shot-stopper claimed there were delays in all three of his monthly wages.

Borough chairman Hook has denied that, insisting that while some Gosport players were not paid on time, Rice was in August and October – although he was unsure over the timing of payments in September.

The dispute saw Rice quit before Borough’s National League South draw against Weston-super-Mare last weekend.

The keeper said: ‘I was sold the dream, and it was too good to be true.

‘I was earning good money but it fell apart.

‘Alex Pike came down with the chairman all the way to Exeter in the summer and they gave me a contract I couldn’t refuse.

‘It was the same money I was on at Torquay when I played professionally.

‘It came to the first month of pay and I was short and the second month I was short again, and last month I was short, so I said I’d had enough, that’s it, I can’t keep doing this.

‘Some of us rely on that money. I said: “what are you going to do next month, are you going to be able to pay us or not?”’

However, Hook denied the allegations.

In response, he said: ‘We paid him what he was due with his contract.

‘He was paid the full amount and on time for the first month and the third month.

‘For the second month, I cannot remember so cannot comment.’

After Rice’s departure, Pike said ‘I can’t keep putting up with his antics and neither can the players’ in an interview with BBC Radio Solent.

The former Exeter player believes the Borough boss was wrong to make such a statement.

‘I wouldn’t say it was antics, I’d say it’s being up front and honest,’ added Rice.

‘If I’m not going to be paid, I’m not coming to play.

‘That’s the only thing I ever said to him.

‘They kept messing me around with money, and I don’t want to be messed around with money.

‘If you’re going to write a contract out, you stick to that contract, you pay that person on time each month, not when you feel like paying that person.

‘I’d get paid half the wages one day and half the wages the next day, it was all over the place.

‘I can’t live with the uncertainty when I’ve got to raise a little boy.

‘I know the players only got paid three weeks wages this month, the chairman told me.’

Responding to the comments of other players being paid short, Hook added: ‘Martin Rice was paid the full amount this month.’

Rice made 19 appearances for Borough during his time at the club.