DERRY CITY Football Club chairman, Mr Philip O’Doherty has warned against further delays to the Brandywell refurbishment project which could prove ‘disastrous’.
The Brandywell club claim the tender process can’t begin ‘due to continued consultation on the project.’
And Mr O’Doherty fears that this latest delay, which could last until October 2016, could put at risk the £1.5 million funding from Stormont and have urged Derry City and Strabane Council to begin work urgently.
A statement from the club released tonight (Sunday) read as follows:
“Firstly let me pay tribute to Paul Hegarty and the players and staff for a fantastic win at Limerick, ensuring that Derry City FC remain in the top flight football again next season.
“As you may know, two weeks ago Derry and Strabane Council received the final Letter of Offer allowing work on the Brandywell Project to begin.
Derry City FC are concerned that a one year delay may result in some or all of the money being returned to Stormont which would be disastrous.Philip O’Doherty
“We immediately met with Council to request a programme of work so that we could discuss options with the FAI to reschedule early home games in the 2016 season to later in the year to facilitate work on the pitch.
“The laying of the 3G pitch would have to take place during our close season between October 2015 and March 2016.
“Unfortunately we have been informed that the tender process can’t begin due to continued consultation on the project.
“We are concerned that should the work not begin this month, the start of this long overdue project would be delayed until October 2016. A full 12 months.
“Derry City FC, other local football clubs, and the people of the Brandywell area in particular should not have to wait yet another year for this project to start.
“This facility will be highly beneficial to the community due to the 3G pitch being able to be used almost continuously throughout the year.
“Derry City FC are concerned that a one year delay may result in some or all of the money being returned to Stormont which would be disastrous.
“This money is rightfully due to the community and all users of the Brandywell and cannot be put at risk.
“Derry City FC will be left out of pocket if games are to be played possibly in Ballybofey with lower numbers attending our games! This will affect the budget for next season which will not help our challenging for European football.
“Finally, let me confirm that we are happy to pay the market price for use of this facility along with the other users in the city, and we would urge Derry City Council to start the work urgently.”