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Saturday 20 July 2019

Dundalk defend €30 stand ticket price

RETURN: Andy Boyle. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
RETURN: Andy Boyle. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Dundalk have defended the decision to charge €30 for stand tickets for their Champions League clash with Latvian side Riga.

Their new chief executive Mark Devlin says the club need to generate more revenue from showpiece fixtures to help cover the investment from the club's American owners into the playing squad and behind the scenes facilities.

The decision to charge €30 for stand tickets for the July 10 visit of Riga has caused some disquiet amongst the club's fanbase - especially as Dundalk's Oriel Park home is dated in comparison to other venues around the country.

Devlin has acknowledged that frustration with the ground is valid, and the former Brentford CEO admits the club will be open to criticism if they don't make progress on that front inside the next year.

But he feels the rise in price for the Riga fixture is justified. UEFA rules will restrict the capacity to around 3,500. Dundalk have previously charged £25 for stand tickets for Champions League qualifiers at the ground - but Riga would be lower profile opposition than BATE Borisov or Rosenborg.

"They are our showpiece games of the season," said Devlin, who was appointed in March.

"Being totally honest, we do need to use the opportunity to raise more revenue

"The demand is huge and, in this instance, we didn't think it was unfair to put up a modest increase in prizes.

"I appreciate some people may view it negatively but running a football club is difficult if you are trying to invest in players and keep things ticking over."

Dundalk have strengthened their squad ahead of their European mission by bringing Andy Boyle back to the club after his release from Preston.

Boyle earned a move to the Championship side off the back of Dundalk's extraordinary European run in 2016 that earned the club €7m and ultimately led to the takeover by Peak6.

But Devlin admits that poor facilities will hold the club back unless they take action.

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