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Derry City Chairman Blasts ‘Total Stupidity’ Of Europa League Fan Boycott

The fallout from Derry City’s defeat to Dinamo Minsk last night continues.

Not only did the Candystripes lose 2-0 to the Belarusian side, but just 1,400 fans turned out to support the home side.

The Brandywell has a capacity of 7,700, though UEFA competitions only allow it to accommodate 2,900 people due to health and safety regulations. Though the club were granted permission to hold 3,700 last night, a boycott over increased ticket prices led to only a fraction of the expected attendance showing up.

Tickets for the Minsk visit were priced at £25 (€28), ten pounds more than the average price for a typical Airtricity League game, leading to what turned out to be a successful boycott.

One man who was grossly unhappy with the outcome was Derry City Chairman, Philip O’Doherty, who told BBC Radio Foyle (as first reported by RTÉ) of his disappointment.

“I’m disappointed that the boycott obviously worked because we only had 1,400 people in this ground tonight,” O’Doherty told the station after the defeat suffered by Kenny Shiels’ team.

“We were allowed 3,700 in the ground but obviously the request last week for people to attend the game has fallen on deaf ears and there was nowhere near enough for a European game at the Brandywell.

“The atmosphere was very, very flat and it didn’t help the players at all. Can I just thank those people who did turn up and show support and loyalty to the club.

“It was £25 a game six or seven years ago. I don’t think that’s the reason and I don’t really know what point they were trying to make. It was total stupidity.”

Just last week, O’Doherty opined that the increase was necessary for the continued existence of the very club, and in the aftermath of last night he revealed that his enthusiasm for helping the club out of the financial hole hasn’t been helped by the dispute.

“The money goes into the playing budget and the club. The same people who called for this budget are then meeting me and asking me to increase the budget so it certainly hasn’t helped my enthusiasm.”

City travel to the Stadyen Dynama next Thursday for the return leg in the first round of Europa League qualification.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.