WALES is in financial crisis and cost cuts are forcing stars to share hotel rooms.
Robert Page’s Dragons secured an important 2-0 Euro 2024 victory in Latvia on Monday evening, keeping their dream of qualifying for Germany alive.
But SunSport understands Wales are facing major cash problems as chief executive Noel Mooney implements a series of austerity measures.
The return to sharing spaces in this international window was one of them, with the opposition’s analysis also tightening purse strings.
Wales took just 21 players for their must-win Group D trip to Latvia and did not fill the substitutes’ bench – something unheard of in recent times.
Boss Page initially named a 25-man squad but Kieffer Moore and Joe Morrell, who played in the second half of last Thursday’s 0-0 friendly against South Korea, were suspended for the follow-up game in Riga.
Then Wayne Hennessey and Wes Burns prevailed ahead of Latvia NONE of the four were replaced.
The Football Association of Wales recorded a financial loss of £100,659 in the financial year ending June 2022.
And sources at the FAW have suggested that Wales are now focusing on participation in major tournaments rather than any hope of building on the success of two European Championship qualifiers in 2016 and 2020, as well as last year’s World Cup.
This year’s budget shows a potential seven-figure loss and pressure on the FAW has even led to an attempt to increase ticket prices.
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The FAW headquarters in Hensol, near Cardiff, was also due for expansion but is apparently on hold.
Mooney was heavily criticized by fans after charging adults £25 plus a £3 booking fee for the Korean tie at Cardiff City Stadium.
Wales attracted just 13,668 spectators, which – excluding the Covid games – was their worst home attendance in four years.
Angry Dragons fans took to social media to express their anger at Mooney for his greedy ticket policy.
In the, also tried to increase the prices for it Qualifiers. But his proposal was rejected at a meeting of Welsh fans and postponed until 2024.
Mooney, who was appointed in August 2021, has made a number of financial commitments to Welsh grassroots football, pledging millions to the Cymru Premier.
Last month he said: “We are going to invest a few million pounds in this league.”
In July, the FAW boss gave the under-pressure boss Page a public vote of confidence.
But SunSport understands he privately prefers a bigger name in the hot seat.
Even before Latvia, it was believed that Mooney was preparing for a move. But Page signed a new four-year contract a year ago and any change would cost compensation.
Welsh players and staff stand behind the manager.