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'Total stupidity': Derry chairman disappointed with fans over Europa League boycott

The Candystripes lost 2-0 to Dinamo Minsk, and Philip O’Doherty said the ‘flat atmosphere’ didn’t help the players.

DERRY CITY CHAIRMAN Philip O’Doherty has expressed his disappointment over the attendance at the club’s Europa League qualifying tie at the Brandywell last night, suggesting the ‘flat atmosphere’ contributed to a 2-0 defeat to Dinamo Minsk.

Just 1,400 people were in attendance for the Europa League first round first-leg tie after fans had previously stated their annoyance over the club’s ticket prices for the game.

Players shake hands ahead of the game Derry face an uphill task if they are to progress to the next qualifying round. Lorcan Doherty / INPHO Lorcan Doherty / INPHO / INPHO

Adult tickets were priced £25 (€28) for the visit of the Belarusian side, which was £10 more than the cost for a regular SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game at the Brandywell.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle after Thursday’s game, O’Connor said: “I’m disappointed that the boycott obviously worked because we only had 1,400 people in this ground tonight.

“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.”

The Derry chairman also defended the club’s ticket prices for the first game of their European campaign.

“It was £25 a game six or seven years ago,” he added. “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.

“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.”

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