DERRY CITY chairman, Philip O’Doherty has promised to loosen the purse strings and give manager, Peter Hutton a licence to attract a top quality striker to the club.
Mr O’Doherty insists he is ‘100 per cent’ behind the Derry City boss despite the poor run of results and is confident he’s the man to steer the Brandywell club clear of relegation trouble.
If he can attract some players, especially forwards, I’m going to make sure he’s got the money to get the players he needs.Philip O’Doherty
And while he stressed the importance of maintaining a ‘sustainable’ and ‘reasonably balanced’ budget, he has given Hutton the green light to bring in new faces during the remainder of the July Transfer Window.
“I’m confident Peter (Hutton) can keep this team up in the Premier Division,” said Mr O’Doherty.
“Everyone is frustrated and I can understand the fans’ concerns and I probably feel it more than them.
“I’m 100 per cent behind the manager and behind this team. This team can do a lot better.”
Asked whether he was prepared to afford Hutton the financial clout to bring in a new striker should a suitable target become available, Mr O’Doherty said he would allow Hutton a ‘little extra’.
“We’ve taken steps recently to have a larger focus on youth players and that will take a couple of years to happen,” he continued.
“We’re always going to make sure this club survives and that’s the most important thing. But I’m certainly saying to Peter now that I’m going to contribute.
“If he can attract some players, especially forwards, I’m going to make sure he’s got the money to get the players he needs.
“But at the same time I still would like to think we could have a reasonably balanced budget towards the end of the season.
“I think now, with the situation we’re in, we have to allow him a little bit extra.
“There’s no real option other than having a largely local squad. If you would look at what it would cost to bring in players from Dublin or England it’s not feasible.
“Now when we get the new stadium up and running and hopefully the crowds improve, we would have more opportunities for corporate sponsorship.
“At the minute you have limited facilities at Brandywell. The ground is pretty much sold out with advertising space - we don’t have much more to sell.
“The games are sponsored and we really can’t charge people any more - the facilities wouldn’t justify it.
“And Derry is not a city where people can afford to pay too much. We’re conscious of that. So you’re limited.
“My job is to balance the books as well as ensure we compete for major honours. We’ve seen this in the past where people have forgotten about running the business side of things properly. Football is a business and it has to be run properly.
“If you don’t do that you will get into trouble very, very quickly.”
Hutton has been under mounting pressure from supporters and Friday’s scoreless draw with Limerick was greeted with further backlash on social media.
First team coach, Marty McCann became the latest to leave the club yesterday, following Shaun Kelly out of the Brandywell door. Hutton has dismissed suggestions that there is growing unrest at the club and Mr O’Doherty is happy to let the manager deal with the day-to-day runnings.
“I speak to Peter regularly,” said the chairman. “I don’t try and micro-manage him. I didn’t try and micro-manage Stephen Kenny or Declan Devine.
“You appoint a guy and let him get on with the budget you give him. That’s the way I would operate in my own business too. Let the people get on with it and encourage them and if they want to talk I’m always available.
“Maybe we just have to get the monkey off our back and score a few goals,” he added. “I think if we had of scored one on Friday night we could have scored five.
“I‘m certainly of the view that this team is in a much lower position than they should be. They should be much higher up and hopefully we can get a cup run as well,” concluded the chairman.