DERRY CITY’s Chief Executive, Mr Sean Barrett expressed his disappointment at the club’s failure to meet UEFA’s stadium requirements to host a third round Europa League match.
However, he’s confident that the imminent redevelopment of the Brandywell Stadium will avoid a repeat situation should the ‘Candy Stripes’ qualify for next season’s competition.
It emerged this week that the ‘Candy Stripes’ must play its Europa League third round qualifier at the Sligo Showgrounds should they progress from Thursday night’s second round qualifier against Shakhtyor Soligorsk.
UEFA states that matches can be played either at the ground of the home club or at another ground in the same or another city within the territory of its association.
Therefore the club opted to select Sligo Rovers’ ground as a ‘back-up’ stadium for games played in the third round of the competition, should they reach that stage.
Thankfully plans for the refurbishment of the Brandywell Stadium are at an ‘advance stage’ with an information day for members of the public arranged for this Thursday at the Brandywell Sports Centre.
“We had to select a back-up ground so we selected Sligo Showgrounds,” confirmed Mr Barrett.
“It’s disappointing but we would hope that this would not be a problem should the club qualify for Europe next year.
“Hopefully this time next year, should we qualify for Europe, we will be able to play all our fixtures at the Brandywell as it will be up to standard by then. There has been significant developments,” he added.
“So things are going in the right direction. “
And all UEFA’s requirements are taken into account in the redevelopment plans. They’ve met the criteria which includes the doping area, the changing facilities etc.”
Derry City Council will host an information day this Thursday at the Brandywell Sports Centre where the plans for the regeneration of the Brandywell Stadium will be on display to the public.
The information day will run from 2 p.m - 9p.m. and will be open to all members of the public.