“We recognise that the actions of the club board have compromised the integrity of the league”

After Derry City Football Club’s ejection from the League of Ireland, over allegations of undisclosed secondary contracts for players, the club’s directors held a news conference. They denounced the FAI hearing as “a witch hunt”, declared that “a hidden agenda exists within the FAI in relation to Derry City Football Club”, and that they were “currently exploring any possibility of any type of appeal procedure within the FAI or via a court of law in Dublin or Belfast.” Last night the chairman of the club resigned, along with three board members, leaving the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland to explain on behalf of the club’s players.

The position is that at the beginning of the contract period, each player was presented with a document on Derry City headed paper which contained income amounts which we each individually agreed with the club. With only one exception, no player knowingly signed a second document. It now appears that, what the club had misrepresented to us as a blank registration form containing no figures, terms or conditions was, in fact, a second document upon which different figures were subsequently entered and lodged with the league. The full terms of this contract were never made available to the players and we fully believed that the wages which we were being paid were disclosed to the league in accordance with normal practice.

The Irish Times has the PFAI statement, along with full statements former Derry City FC chairman, Pat McDaid, and the FAI.

FAI Statement

The Football Association of Ireland tonight (November 10) confirmed that following a meeting in Abbotstown, the players of Derry City Football Club have put on public record the fact that they had signed two contracts, the standard player’s contract and a separate contract on club headed paper.

As of today, the FAI has accepted these players’ assurances that they were not personally aware of any financial irregularities at the club. The FAI also recognise the difficulties that have been created by the club in not paying players for the last eight/nine weeks at Derry City FC, and the impact that has on each player and his immediate family.

The FAI has also confirmed that it intends to send a delegation to Derry, on Thursday, with a view to beginning the process of returning the club to stability, now that the Club Chairman has accepted his untenable position.