According to reliable sources, the Derry City Football Club finances are not in a very healthy state.
It’s not of the same nature as 2009 when the club was living outrageously beyond its means, simply that, with the board’s very sensible decision to only spend what we’ve got, it is somewhat hampered by the fact that we haven’t got very much!
The loss of winners’ prize money in the FAI Cup Final, and the subsequent failure to get a place in Europe with the money that also entails have combined to leave us behind the eight ball.
So, at this point, the directors’ decision to make cuts is one that has been forced on them. But we must now surely be at the stage where this will be becoming counter-productive. More cuts, weaker team, fewer fans, no prize money, no Europe, less revenue, even weaker team, even fewer fans etc.. etc.. etc..
I can already hear some (foolish) voices whisper; “We’d be better up north where we could save 50 grand a year in travelling expenses.”
Yeah – and lose 200 grand a year in gate receipts and season tickets! The economics of the asylum! So what is the answer to our problem? Firstly, a completely different mental approach.
I have had this argument with chairmen going back to our return in 1985. The answer to our current type situation has always been cut, cuts, cuts. Always the emphasis on cutting expenses.
But is there not another – more obvious – solution? What about increasing revenue? Derry City FC are a unique club. Situated as by far the highest profile club in a Greater Derry (including Strabane, Dungiven, Buncrana, Letterkenny, Limavady) area who will always have first dabs on the best players therein. And on a lot less than Dublin wages!
The next task is to raise the money for those wages; and here is where we’ve seemed to be asleep at the wheel recently. We may have been lulled into some sort of false sense of security by a couple of big transfers and Europe almost on a yearly basis.
To the point where the normal fundraising activities common to all clubs have fallen by the wayside. The Development Committee? Maybe I’ve been living in a bubble but do we still have one?
Certainly, I am not aware of any major fundraising activities (like raffles for apartments, cars etc.) being part of the current scene.
Even the grand annual dinner where we could initiate something like a club ‘Hall of Fame’ and incorporate both a posthumous and living hero seems to have fallen by the wayside.
In other words, we seem to have become lazy, and complacent. So let’s ALL get up off our butts and get working on behalf of a club which is unique not only in Ireland but in the entire world.
And what better way to start than by purchasing a season ticket for yourself/your partner/your family/your wife, lover (or both!).
As the song says; “you’re only gonna miss me when I’m gone.” And, if ever that were to happen to our club through our inactivity, we’d have a very long time to regret it.