Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Derry City were naive over contracts: McCarron

Acting Derry City chairman Stephen McCarron says he did not resign along with the other four board members because he had no specific dealings in the contract issue which ultimately led to the club’s expulsion.

Mr McCarron, an estate agent in Derry, is the sole remaining member of the Derry City board after chairman Pat McDaid and directors Joe W Doherty, Peter Leonard and Francis Houston resigned on Tuesday evening.

“I have taken the decision not the resign because I feel I have done nothing to resign for,” he said. “All the directors at the club had different roles.

“My role was to do with fund-raising and other commercial activity and I had nothing to do with players’ contracts. I wasn’t involved in contract negotiations.

“Contract negotiations were something that the manager would have been heavily involved in and the club chairman would have had some input too.”

McCarron feels the club had a moral duty to see that the players were paid the money they were owed and said: “I can’t say we can pay them today, tomorrow, or next week, but we have a moral duty to pay them back.”

He said that making sure Derry city were playing in the League of Ireland was a priority.

“Clearly we need to be able to attain League of Ireland status again, that’s the most important thing of all,” he said. “But I believe there is a way forward and I don’t believe it is as dark as it has been made out. That’s why I have stayed on because I feel I can, with the assistance of other people, bring the club ahead again.

“There are debts but I would counter that there are other ways we can resolve the sum that is there and over a period of time pay back our creditors.”

Mr McCarron said while personally he had no knowledge of any secondary contracts at the club, there had been naivete on Derry’s part in their handling of the situation.

“I wouldn’t want to second guess the directors who did stand down but my general thoughts on the matter are that they decided that it was in the best interests of Derry City that they went and they wouldn’t want to stand in the way of League of Ireland football coming back into the city because that’s their first love,” he said.

“My integrity was called into question. Everything I have done for the club has been in the best interests of the club. I have never set out to deceive anybody.

“It is my intention to try to bring back League of Ireland football to the Brandywell.

“I think it is safe to say there was a certain amount of naivete when it came to contracts. If there are dual contracts, and I’m not aware of them, then I believe that that shouldn’t have happened.”

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