DERRY CITY: Kenny Shiels hits out at FAI for ‘diabolical’ decision-making

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KENNY SHIELS has hit out at the FAI, claiming the decision to schedule Derry City’s North West derby against Finn Harps on a Tuesday night was both ‘cruel’ and ‘diabolical’.

The Derry City boss is deeply concerned that the decision to schedule the match on Tuesday, May 10th next and the fact it is to be televised ‘live’ on Setanta Sports, will badly affect the Brandywell club’s gate receipts.

Not only do they give us just one home game (against Finn Harps), they put it on a Tuesday night. How cruel is that. I think it’s diabolical.

Kenny Shiels

Shiels says he expected the only home match against North West neighbours Harps this season, to be Derry’s biggest in terms of revenue and questioned the FAI’s decision-making.

Derry also face two trips to Cork inside a fortnight for the EA Sports Cup quarter-final on Monday, May 2nd and for a league fixture on Friday, May 13th - those games sandwiched between the St Patrick’s Athletic match at Richmond Park on May 6th!

“I’m concerned because having a team to go to Cork after the Sligo game is a tall order,” he said. “It’s the journey there and back on the bus - it’s 14 hours!

“Then we have Harps the following Tuesday night,” he continued. “Our biggest game, gate-wise and it’s on a Tuesday night - thanks very much FAI.

“We had 17 away games last season and the same again this season, That’s not a great balance. We have two trips to Wexford this season. We had one trip to Cork but now it’s two and I understand that’s by accident and not design. But you would think whoever put the fixtures out would have thought, there’s a club going through transition and they want to better their facilities so their high gate fixtures - massive fixtures in terms of finance - then two games at home to Harps would be logical. But not only do they give us just one home game, they put it on a Tuesday night.

“How cruel is that. I think it’s diabolical.”