Derry City in strong financial position to tackle coronavirus crisis: Denis Bradley

Derry City is in a strong financial position to tackle the current crisis according to director, Denis Bradley.Derry City is in a strong financial position to tackle the current crisis according to director, Denis Bradley.
Derry City is in a strong financial position to tackle the current crisis according to director, Denis Bradley. | other
DERRY CITY director, Denis Bradley has claimed the club will honour player contracts for the 'foreseeable future' and predicted it will remain on a firm financial footing despite the significant impact of the coronavirus on Irish football.

With Drogheda United becoming the first League of Ireland club to suspend payments to staff and players due to the enforced lay-off, the FAI is expected to scrap affiliation fees to help out those cash-strapped clubs.

Mr Bradley described Irish football as 'a very delicate flower' in an interview with Radio Foyle this morning, but he confident Derry City Football Club would survive the current crisis, provided the pandemic doesn't go on longer than expected.

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"Football in Ireland is a very delicate flower," he said. "Some clubs will find it very difficult to survive this. Some clubs will have great financial difficulties in a short period of time.

"Derry City is probably in a better position than most clubs," he added. "We have very generous sponsors. We're very well organised. We're very well managed. We have been very astute financially. We haven't over-spent or over-committed ourselves financially.

"Therefore we're in a strong position to probably brave this out and see it through and be in a strong position at the end of it."

When asked if the club were in a position to honour current player contracts, Mr Bradley answered in the affirmative. However, he hoped, UEFA and the Irish government would be on hand to help out financially.

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"Of course contracts will be honoured. Contracts will be honoured in the foreseeable future. If this went on for a longer period of time than we would hope then obviously, we're a business as well as an outlet for sport and for entertainment and like any business we would be hoping the FAI could attract some money either from UEFA itself or from the Irish government and perhaps there will be support there. The business aspect of this has to run alongside the sporting aspect of it.

"We will take it week by week and we will keep people informed, keep our supporters informed. We were to have an annual general meeting fairly soon. That will have to be cancelled. but going forward we will keep people up to date and as soon as we get to know any specifics about future prospects we will be informing the players first of all, our management committee and the public."

Derry City yesterday suspended group training and issued players with their own individual training programmes in small group meetings with management.And Mr Bradley is confident the club has taken appropriate measures to tackle the current crisis.

"The steps Derry City has taken have been quite clear. The management have met with the players and our medics have met with the players and given them a programme to actually work towards.

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"They have obviously dispersed for a period of time. There's been no training and there's been no social interaction in that sense. And of course there is no matches until sometime in the future. The club itself can only do what the club can do and that is to stay in touch with the players, be appreciative of their needs and their families' needs and also stay in touch with the FAI itself who are the governing, overarching organisation in this.

"Hopefully we can get back to some sort of situation sometime in the next few months depending on how the virus behaves and how capable the country is in addressing this.

I think it would actually be foolish at the moment to try and put a date in this. What happened yesterday was the pushing back of the Euros into next year which gives a space in that June, July period when perhaps a number of things could happen if the actual situation has calmed down to some degree. There could be a catch up in some of the postponed matches. I think that period of time will be vital."

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