City secure Premier Licence

DERRY City Football Club’s application for a 2011 Premier Division licence was granted yesterday by the Football Association of Ireland.

And for club chairman, Mr. Philip O’Doherty, it was a welcome announcement which now sees all attention focused on the start of the new Premier Division season against Sligo on Friday, March 4th next at the Brandywell.

“A Derry City delegation met with the FAI in Abbotstown several weeks ago and those meetings involved our FAI representative, members of the Board and our manager, Stephen Kenny.

“Our financial structures and, indeed, budgets for this season were examined in great detail by the FAI and, thankfully, everything has been accepted and passed so that we can now focus on matters on the pitch,” said Mr. O’Doherty.

“I’d like to express my thanks to all those who have worked on the necessary documentation and the professional way in which our accounts were presented was first class,” added the chairman.

Mr. O’Doherty also expressed his thanks to Derry City Council official, Mr. Jeff Ashe, who had been tasked with dealing with health and safety and electricial issues at Brandywell Stadium, issues which had to be addressed before the Premier Division Licence had been granted.

“Derry City Council and Jeff Ashe in particular have also played their part in the club securing our licence. The FAI had issues over health and safety and electrical matters which have been rectified.

“Obviously, we still have issues in relation to the upgrading of the stadium in the medium term and, as a club, we will continue to pursue the various funding bodies in an effort to have the stadium refurbished,” continued the chairman.

Galway Application Rejected

Meanwhile, current Premier Division representatives, Galway United, were refused a new licence as the “Tribesmen” failed to fulfil the necessary financial criteria and were awarded an “A” Championship Licence. Galway have now five days to lodge an appeal.

The following clubs received Premier Division Licences for 2011 - Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Monaghan United, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Sligo Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic, UCD, Athlone Town and Longford Town.

First Division Licences have been awarded to - Mervue United, Wexford Youths, Salthill Devon, Waterford United, Finn Harps and a conditional licence award to Limerick.

Following the collapse of Sporting Fingal, it now appears that Drogheda United will retain their Premier Division status for 2011. despite their relegation.