RYAN McBRIDE has been offered a bumper deal by a top Dublin club and has urged Derry City Board of Directors to hold urgent talks with the club’s playing staff to resolve their futures.
The Derry City skipper, who is currently out of contract, has held talks with several interested parties and is understood to have been offered a hugely tempting deal by an unknown Dublin club.
The centre half has made no secret of his desire to continue playing for his hometown team but admits the current situation at the Brandywell club has left him anxious about his future.
Derry City Chairman, Mr Philip O’Doherty did hold informal talks with the player yesterday afternoon and reassured him of the club’s interest in retaining his services.
However, the club have yet to table an offer of a new contract for the Brandywell lad.
Mr O’Doherty insists the Brandywell Board, who met last night, will act swiftly to begin contract negotiations with its best players.
I’ve been talking to other clubs and I have to see what’s the best move for me. I’ve talked to a few and one is close to being, more or less, a done deal. But I want Derry to offer me something.Ryan McBride
“Our better players are always going to attract interest,” said Mr O’Doherty.
“I was talking to our captain, Ryan McBride and we will have another long conversation later.
“I rang him to primarily reassure him the club was going to act as quickly as possible and players such as himself, we would like to make offers to them.
“I know Paul Hegarty had been speaking to him but we will follow up on that as quickly as possible.”
The prospect of losing the club’s captain will certainly not be greeted well by supporters of the club but McBride explains that, despite the offer from Dublin, his Derry City future is very much in the club’s hands.
“I think there’s only three players in contract at the minute at the club and the rest are obviously out of contract which isn’t a nice place to be in,” said McBride.
“I’ve been talking to other clubs and I have to see what’s the best move for me. I’ve talked to a few and one is close to being, more or less, a done deal,” he added.
“I just want to give Derry a chance to offer me something because I’ve been here a long time and it’s my hometown club.
“I want Derry to offer me something and if it doesn’t match what I’ve been offered, I’ll have to see how it goes and what steps to take from there.
“It’s up to the board now to get a manager in first and then they can speak to players about contracts. But I think the club should do everything to keep players like Patrick McEleney,” he continued.
“I think he’s the best player in the league and has great potential so they should put their money where their mouth is.
“He’s at Peterborough at the minute and is doing well. So give him another good contract!
“And I don’t want to leave other managers in limbo while I’m waiting on Derry to get back to me. Derry City should be approaching players and secure them for next season before other clubs come in,” he warned.
McBride insists he would have no issue signing for Derry City but understands it could prove a sticking point for others.
“Some players will need to know what manager is coming in and what the club’s ambitions are for next year,” said McBride.
“But I think it was two years ago Sean Barrett (Derry City CEO) approached me about signing the contract - it had nothing to do with Roddy Collins.
“So players will want to know who they’re bringing in and what they’re expectations are for next year. Is it top three or even top half?”
Some League of Ireland players face up to four months without a wage and while McBride does have an income through his part-time work as a barman, he stressed the financial difficulties some players face over the Christmas period are worrying.
“For me it’s not too bad because I have a job as well but for the likes of other players without a job and out of contract they don’t get paid until February.
“Coming up to Christmas they have no money and have to go on the ‘dole’ which is hard to do but you have to do it because you have no income.
“I think it’s a bit of a shambles to be honest.”