DERRY City chairman, Mr. Philip O’Doherty, last night publicly lashed out at “the disgraceful actions” of a small minority of so-called “Candy Striped” supporters who, he claimed, had brought the Brandywell club into disrepute.
The chairman of Derry City has lashed out at “the disgraceful actions” of a small minority of so-called “Candy Striped” supporters who, he claimed, had brought the Brandywell club into disrepute.
Philip O’Doherty said he simply couldn’t understand why Derry City supporters opted to “rip up seats” at Windsor Park during last Monday night’s Setanta Sports game against Linfield.
And he also confirmed that matches at Brandywell Stadium do not always go off without incident.
Indeed, he pointed to his club’s first home fixture last Friday night when a Bohemians supporters’ coach had a window smashed.
The Chairman, however, refused to allow his frustrations get the better of him when applauding the attendance of Derry’s first home match last weekend.
“It was a superb showing,” he added. “I think the support came out to back-up our efforts to run with a local team and, of course, a local manager.
“As a Board, we were absolutely delighted with the turnout and, indeed, the size of the support which travelled to Windsor Park last Monday night.
“However, I’ve just written two cheques on behalf of the club to pay for damages caused by so-called Derry City supporters at both matches,” claimed Mr. O’Doherty.
“I’ve received an e-mail from Linfield Football Club and a fax from a Dublin Bus Company with claims for compensation.
“We had thugs purporting to be supporters who basically ripped up seating at Windsor Park during last the Setanta Sports Cup game and we must put that right,” he insisted.
“But even before we got to the Linfield match, a small minority of people, who attended last Friday night’s game against Bohemians, smashed the window of a Bohemians supporters’ coach and we’ve also had to put that right.”
The chairman refused to hold back: “Our own stewards have confirmed that these supporters were responsible for the damage caused at both venues having viewed what happened.
“So it’s now reached the stage that we must identify the culprits concerned and ban them for life from attending the Brandywell for future games,” insisted Mr. O’Doherty.
“We were well received at Windsor Park last Monday night as was the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, yet we had supporters intent on causing damage and, as far as I’m concerned, going out of their way to ruin our reputation as a senior professional club.
“We simply cannot allow that. I still can’t figure it out why people would simply rip up seating facilities when visiting another ground.
“And, by the same token, I can’t understand why so called supporters would smash the windows of visiting coaches with golf balls, it just doesn’t make any sense.
“Our reputation as a club has been tarnished in the past and while we’ve done all in our power to put matters right, we really don’t want to be seen as a club with a thuggish element attached to it.
“We will meet our senior stewarding team and attempt to identify those responsible and take it from there,” he concluded.