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Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Derry league move 'not on agenda'

Derry City's Gareth McGlynn and Shamrock Rovers' Ollie Cahill
Pat McDaid wants Derry to continue to play the likes of Shamrock Rovers

Derry City chairman Pat McDaid has poured cold water on suggestions that the cash-strapped club could consider a return to the Irish League.

The Candystripes have been hit by a financial crisis and fears have been expressed that they could be forced to leave the League of Ireland.

But McDaid has made clear he is not in favour of a return to the Irish League.

"We don't feel there is a great wave of opinion in favour of returning to the Irish League," McDaid told the BBC.

"We're a member of the League of Ireland and a very proud member at that.

"An awful lot of the discussion and debate is centred around our current financial difficulties as opposed to any great genuine desire to return to the Irish League.

"As a chairman and at a board level...it's certainly not something that is on our agenda at this point in time."

McDaid added that club officials are continuing to make strenuous efforts to alleviate the financial difficulties which have led to players not receiving some of their wages in recent months.

"At this point in time, we're working on the basis that we can resolve our difficulties.

The main reason we are in the difficulties that we are in at the moment isn't because of bus journeys to Dublin or Cork

Derry City chairman Pat McDaid

"We're very much aiming to be in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland next season and we're still holding out hopes of qualifying for Europe."

McDaid also hinted that the club would be keen to show loyalty to a League which welcomed them with "open arms" back in 1985.

That came 13 years after the club left the Irish League during the height of the Northern Ireland troubles.

"That was a real lifeline and a real saviour to get the club moving again back in 1985.

"While we are facing traumatic difficulties at the moment and we are certainly facing a huge uphill struggle to pull through, it doesn't mean that you have to review the very existence of how the club operates."

McDaid added that travel costs was not the main contributory factor to Derry's current problems.

"The main reason we are in the difficulties that we are in at the moment isn't because of bus journeys to Dublin or Cork. It goes a lot deeper than that."

McDaid believes that Derry are likely to be facing Irish League teams in an All-Ireland League within the next decade.

"It won't happen next year or maybe four or five years but I think it (All-Ireland League) is inevitable if we are going to have a proper, successful and ultimately full-time league."



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see also
Hutton poised for Brandywell exit
27 Oct 09 |  Irish
Coyle wants Derry in Irish League
25 Oct 09 |  Irish
Derry City cash crisis deepens
23 Oct 09 |  Foyle and West
St Pat's Athletic 0-2 Derry City
23 Oct 09 |  Irish
Kenny concern over Premier status
22 Oct 09 |  Irish
Derry chief brings in mediator
19 Oct 09 |  Irish
New stand for Brandywell stadium
09 Oct 09 |  Foyle and West
'No mass exodus' from Derry City
01 Sep 09 |  Foyle and West
Derry players facing big wage cut
28 Aug 09 |  Irish


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