View Full Version : Derry consider venue possibilities

A face
20/08/2003, 5:47 PM
Derry consider venue possibilities

Derry City FC are considering their options in relation to their historical Brandywell home, which will have a capacity of just over 2000 under Uefa licensing guidelines next season, with chairman Jim Roddy claiming the club face “serious problems in the months ahead” unless extensive changes are made.

Derry City Council are the registered owners of the Brandywell stadium, which has played its part as a theatre for some of the most memorable moments in the history of the modern game in Ireland since the Candystripes successful move into the League of Ireland in the 1980s.

But Derry may even be forced to relocate away from their traditional home in an attempt to meet Uefa regulations.

The terms of the Uefa licensing scheme, to be implemented by November 31st this year, set down a series of strict guidelines for clubs’ venues and facilities across the continent. One of the early ramifications of the soccer authority’s rulings is that the Brandywell would be three-quarters empty when Derry welcome Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia to Foyleside for the second leg of a Uefa Cup qualifying round tie on Thursday week, a situation that has prompted action by the Derry board.

Club chairman Roddy told the Derry Journal: “The fact that we will have a maximum capacity of just 2,200 for the game [against APOEL Nicosia] means that the cost of participating in the competition outweighs the income we will receive from our gate receipts.

"This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The Uefa licensing requirements need to be met by November 31 next and, at this juncture, the stadium does not meet those requirements. We face serious problems in the months ahead.

“At this moment in time, Derry City cannot survive on a capacity attendance of just 2,200 fans and, as things stand, that will be our full capacity as far as seating goes if changes are not made.

"In order to survive as a business, we require at least one major friendly fixture with a top club every two years - but that would be a pointless exercise with just 2,200 people watching such games.

“We have attempted to come to an agreement with Derry City Council over the past three years regarding the redevelopment of Brandywell Stadium. In fact, the club has sought funding from both the British and Irish governments and from a major international investor.

"But so much time has elapsed since those initial contacts were made, and having succeeded in securing the funding in principle to develop the stadium, we now fear that that finance is in danger of being lost.

“As directors, our responsibility is to ensure that Derry City Football Club will survive for the local community. We must look at all options open to us and one such option must be a move to another venue.

"To be patently honest, this would not be a preferred option. Derry City has an historic link with the Brandywell and, of course, the immediate area, but, as directors, the survival of the club is paramount.”

www.eleven-a-side.com (http://www.eleven-a-side.com/premier/story.asp?newsid=7078)

21/08/2003, 10:46 AM
Maybe its just the tone of the article but it seems to be suggesting that Derry City are only now starting to consider the implications of the Uefa licencing.

Seems a bit odd to say the least.

21/08/2003, 10:50 AM
Maybe I've misunderstood but don't the guidelines give a minimum number of seats (1500?) that theground has to have but standing areas are still allowed. The Brandywell has 2,200 seats (enough as far as I know) so they'll pass the UEFA licencing (on the seating anyway) and still be able to use the terraces for league games.