Ex-Portsmouth defender Sam Magri lifts lid on 'absolute mess' at controversial Ebbsfleet

Sam Magri had to endure missed pay days and being told of his release via Twitter during a chaotic season at Ebbsfleet.

Saturday, 6th July 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th July 2019, 6:59 pm
Sam Magri left Ebbsfleet in May following 79 appearances in two seasons for the National League side. Picture: Dave Plumb/Ebbsfleet United

The former Pompey defender was a mainstay in a side which finished one place outside the National League play-offs last season.

It was a remarkable achievement considering the turmoil behind the scenes which saw players and staff forced to deal with late wage payments on occasions.

In May, Magri left following 79 appearances in two seasons, subsequently moving to the Hawks.

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And he's relieved to put the 'absolute mess' behind him.

He said: ‘Nobody knows the real story, Ebbsfleet is an absolute mess at the minute.

‘Most people there had a family, people relying on them, but you never knew when you were going to get your wages.

'You never had a clue what was going on, that was the hardest thing to deal with. Just tell us the truth and we can plan, but that never happened.

‘Everyone was going through their own battle. Myself and Nathan Ashmore were driving up from Pompey and it was costing £500 each in petrol every week, we don’t get paid expenses, it is out of our own wages.

‘We were told nothing but lies, yet had to go out and play. The best one was it will be in the bank tomorrow, then it was three-and-a-half weeks late!

'We were getting paid by different companies, from Kuwait or whatever, I’ve never seen anything like it.

‘On one occasion we had Wrexham at home and refused to warm-up beforehand, people were asking why, it went viral – which was what we wanted.

‘We did a little bit in the changing room, we sat there and talked and did the best warm-up we could in there.

'But it worked, we were 3-0 up at half-time and then won 4-2!’

Perhaps it was inevitable that Magri’s time at Ebbsfleet would also end in controversy.

He added: ‘The manager was asking some of us to sign new deals – and two days after being offered them found out on Twitter we had been released!

'They couldn’t even do that properly!’