Derry City are refused entry to Europa League by Uefa

David McDaid of Derry City in action against Lisburn Distillery's William Garrett in the Setanta Cup game on Monday
David McDaid of Derry City in action against Lisburn Distillery's William Garrett

Derry City have been refused entry into next season's Europa League competition by Uefa.

The European football governing body has taken the decision because the club went into liquidation just over two years ago.

That led to a European ban for three years and this is the final year of the Candystripes' suspension.

Derry would have been guaranteed at least 110,000 Euros for participation in the competition.

The re-formed club, with support from the FAI, asked for the rule to be relaxed but Uefa refused to relent.

On paper, Derry's third-place finish in last year's Airtricity League Premier Division should have earned them a Europa League spot.

Derry City chairman Philip O'Doherty received the bad news in a phone call shortly before lunchtime on Tuesday.

"Because the new club has only been in existence for two years - not three years - we had to apply for a derogation of the rule," said the Derry chairman.

"We paid a lot of football debts that were nothing to do with us, but from the previous club but apparently we're not going to be accepted.

"I've just spoken to the manager (Declan Devine). He's absolutely gutted as are the rest of the board."

The club does have the option of launching an appeal to the European Court of Arbitration but O'Doherty said that this "hugely expensive option is unlikely".

"We're going to have a look at that when we get the statement but it would be unlikely that we would be successful.

"We did a very, very good application and the questions we were asked, they were answered positively.

"The amount of money we have spent taking care of previous responsibilities, I would have thought would have been enough to basically bend the rules.

"The players will be gutted as well, not getting the chance to play on a larger stage and with the success they had a few years ago and obviously the recent success of Shamrock Rovers.

"It's a big, big disappointment for everyone involved."

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