DERRY City is believed to be fuming following yesterday’s decision, by the FAI, forcing the “Candy Stripes” to play Drogheda next Monday night, despite the fact that both clubs had agreed to meet next Friday at Brandywell.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
It’s understood that the local club made contact with Drogheda seeking to switch this Monday’s match to next Friday, given that both were not involved in the FAI Cup.
And yet while having gained agreement from the ‘Boynesiders,’ the FAI refused to sacntion that request, insisting that the fixtures had been been laid out at the start of the season and must be followed.
Both clubs argued that they would not have a match for a period of 11 or 12 days and rather than play twice in four days, a match next Friday would be more acceptable to both.
Derry also claimed that the Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company had use of the stadium on Monday nights, requesting that the fixture be put back to next Tuesday, but the FAI decreed that matches would not be played on “European Champions League nights.”
The Brandywell club’s vice-chairman, Mr. Sean Barrett, said he was frustrated at the decision which, in the end, would cost Derry City money given that attendances on Monday nights were half those which watched games on Fridays.
“Drogheda United were happy to agree to the switch, avoiding travelling up here during the week. We made it clear that our attendance figure would be adversly affected due to a Monday night fixture, and given that both Drogheda and ourselves are not involved in next weekend’s FAI Cup ties, we believed the request to switch the game would have been acceptable.
“I’m still coming to terms with the FAI’s decision and, to be honest, I can’t understand it. Both clubs preferred to play the game next Friday, no-one is seeking any advantage yet we were refused to switch the game which is very frustrating,” he said.
“Thankfully, the Brandywell Greyhound Company have facilitated us having agreed to cancel their usual meeting, but we are amazed that it has come to this.
“We’re not breaking any rules, we’re not seeking any advantage and, if the truth be told, we were happy that Drogheda wouldn’t have to travel in midweek. But for some unknown reason the FAI view the matter differently,” added Mr. Barrett.
Meanwhile, Derry have now agreed to stage the “A” Championship Final at the Brandywell next Friday when the club’s reserve team entertain tonight’s opponents, UCD. That match will kick-off at 7.45 p.m. and admission to the ground will be £5 with under-16s admitted free.
And the local club has also been informed that an allocation of 560 tickets for the EA Sports League Cup Final at Turner’s Cross against Cork on September 24th, would arrive next week.
Tickets (all seated) are priced at E15 and E5 and they will be available from the Brandywell Office from next Tuesday onwards.