Dynamites Tighten Belts
by Winnipeg Fury

Dynamites tighten their belts

Montreal Dynamites management has asked its players to accept a 20% pay
cut until the end of the season.

And this is a 20% cut over the base salary for the season, not just the
remainder, meaning the players are now playing for scraps. Nonetheless,
the players' reaction has been good, as only two of them have decided to
leave because of the cuts: Jocelyn Roy and Chris Stathopoulos.

"We saw it coming because our last two cheques, we only got paid part of
what we were owed. They told us that they were giving us this for the
moment, and eventually we would get the rest," says Stathopoulos. "Then,
they had a meeting with all the players where they told the truth."

"The owners explained they had already lost a lot of money this season,
and they asked players if they were willing to take a pay cut," says
defender Philippe Moreau. They also explained they had already signed
with the league for next season."

"There was a meeting (in August). At that time, we didn't think we had a
chance of making the playoffs," says Dynamites GM Tony Incollingo. "We
expected to lose $80,000 this year, but we're now heading towards losses
of $120,000. On a budget of $380,000, that's a lot."

The situation is due to a high expenses for travel and TV production of
a couple of games, a higher salary base than expected - one of the best
in the league, according to Incollingo - and to lesser sponsorship
revenues than planned.

"Instead of cutting players, we proposed a 20% pay cut for everybody, in
order to try and build something for next year," added Incollingo.
"Everyone said yes, except Jocelyn and Chris."

"In my case, it was more like a 25% cut," says Roy. "And that's what I
figured to get for the rest of the season. To travel to Montreal from
Granby, with the gas and all, it would have cost me money. But more than
the money question, it's the principle of the thing. I had already gone
through this with the Impact, I didn't want to go through that again. I
decided it would be better to take a break before the indoor season, and
be in top shape for the start of training camp."

Roy, who was drafted by Harrisburg, and Stathopoulos, who was picked by
Kansas City, did not want to jeopardize their chances of pursuing their
indoor careers, which have been going much better than their outdoor
careers over the last two years.

"It was just too much," says Stathopoulos. "I would have been willing to
come back, but I had a little injury. The therapist cared, but the team
didn't care. I decided it would be better to rest, to not take a chance
(until the start of the indoor season).

"I don't want to bash them. It's their first year, they try hard," added
Stathopoulos. "Jocelyn and I were the highest paid, and we just decided
to go our separate ways. It wouldn't have been good for the team to
stick around and mope. But they say they want to be the Impact, and yet
it doesn't compare to their level of professionalism. Instead of a big
bus, we've travelled with 21 people in a 21-seater, six hours to
Toronto, the day of the game. They can't expect us to perform after

"But they have a good team and I hope they make the playoffs," concluded

In spite of the good sentiments on the surface, off the record in
Dynamites inner circles there is word that the departure of Roy and
Stathopoulos will not have significant repercussions on the field,
because their impact on the team had been minimal so far.

Moreau says morale on the team has remained good in spite of the salary
cuts. Proof of that is in the fact that in the two games following that
fateful meeting, the Dynamites won 3-0 and 9-2.

"This is a sacrifice that we're making. It's a new club," says Moreau.
"The results are there, we want to make the playoffs and put the team on
the right track.

"That the owners come to you and say they didn't plan the budget
correctly, you have to give them a chance. But at the same time, I hope
it won't happen again. We accept it, but we won't forget."

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