Gerry Flynn: My story at Newry City FC

Sean McKevitt Posted by
smckevitt86@gmail.com
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
News, Sport

In an exclusive interview with Newry Times, ex-Newry City manager Gerry Flynn speaks from the heart and reveals in a frank and candid interview his side of the story regarding the events that have led to the increasingly likely demise of Newry City FC.

Gerry Flynn first joined Newry as a player in May 2005 but when the manager’s post become vacant, Flynn was appointed to the hot seat in January 2007, where he  reveals he was employed by Jim O’Brien and Bernie Keenan.

“I didn’t have a contract with the club. We had a gentleman’s agreement because I knew the integrity of the two men.”

Gerry Flynn

But when Jim Feenan and Paul McKenna joined the club, Flynn claims it was interference from the latter of the two men that forced him to resign his position in September 2009.

“It got to the stage where I wasn’t enjoying it anymore because of what was going on behind the scenes. Mr. McKenna interfered with team affairs and I resigned because I just couldn’t hack it any longer.”

At the time Flynn vowed never to return to Newry while Paul McKenna was at the club but he made a  U-turn in March 2010.

Following lengthy discussions with both Mr.McKenna and Mr.Feenan, Flynn began his second spell as manager of club.

“I met with Mr.McKenna and Mr.Feenan and I agreed to come back to the club. This time I wanted a contract because of what happened the last time and also because Jim O’Brien and Bernie Keenan were no longer involved in the day to day running of the club.

“Also, one of the conditions I insisted on was that there should be a management committee within the club and any major decisions should go through them.”

But in January 2011, the relationship between Flynn and McKenna deteriorated as Flynn claims McKenna reduced his and three other members of staffs’ wages without prior consultation.

Following this, Flynn claims he wasn’t consulted when two members of his coaching staff were let go.

“On the Monday afternoon (31st January 2011) Robbie Casey phoned me to say that Peter Murray and Ian Lynch were no longer with the club. I said that can’t happen, as any major decision within the club must be put towards the management committee.”

“So on the Tuesday night, myself, Peter Murray, Pat McAllister and Ian Lynch took training. Then on Wednesday night Mr.McKenna informed me that following discussions in a meeting, the club had decided to let me and the boys (Murray, McAllister and Lynch) go.”

“I said no problem Paul, just put it in writing to me and that was it.”

Flynn reveals he never received any correspondence from the club and on the Saturday of that week the club issued a statement to the BBC that he had been sacked because of results.

“At any stage, if they had of come to me and said it’s not working out, will you walk away Gerry, I would have said fair enough, I’ve given it my best shot and I’ll walk away happily. That never happened so I got a solicitor involved.”

“I went ahead with my claim and was eventually awarded £25, 050.”

“It’s now been going on over 18 months. On the 6th September (this year), when the initial winding up order was to be heard in court, there was a supporter willing to pay the £25,000 owed to me which would have stopped the winding up order.

“Paul McKenna and Jim Feenan wouldn’t give permission for that to happen as this needed to be granted by the Limited company. Bernie Keenan, along with a solicitor went down to the court that day to confirm he was a trustee and he got a stay of execution for two weeks.”

He continued, “Jim O’Brien was willing to come in and invest in the club again. We had come up with an idea called the ‘Friends of Newry’ to pay off the club’s outstanding debt to the Ulster Bank. We were also speaking to a creditor who was owed money. I was willing to pay back the £25, 000 that the club had to pay me.”

“If Paul McKenna were to do anything right he should inform the IFA that they are not going to appeal the winding up order because they have no grounds to appeal it  seeing as they never showed up to court twice.”

“The only way possible that anything can be salvaged from this is if the two trustees were to get a group of people to come in and take over the running of the club, prove to the Court and the IFA that they are going to take over the debt and hope the IFA and the court overturn their decision.”

Flynn added, “I love Newry City Football Club with a passion because of certain people in it and the way I was treated the whole time I was there.  I’ve got nothing at all to hide, there’s no skeleton in my closet and there’ll be a lot more that’s going to come out about this. I’m gutted it’s come to this because quite easily it could have been saved.”

“It is only now I know it was a grudge and he didn’t want to lose to me, there is also the question of the £540k debt they have run up.”

Despite the plight the club find themselves in, Flynn believes there can still be some positives taken from  it. “If Newry need to start all over again –  one, two or even three leagues down then so be it. They’ll be debt free and they’ll be rid of the man who has put them in the position that it’s in.”


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4 Comments for “Gerry Flynn: My story at Newry City FC”

  1. The real fans of NCFC will see through this attempted justication by Gerry Flynn on why he wound up the club, it was done for his own personal gain, no more no less. He states I interfered in team affairs, did I ask questions when players he bought with the clubs money sat in the stand, week in,week out apparently injured, the clubs top wage earner spent more time drinking tea with Dorothy than playing, your right I asked questions, picked the team, dont think so. Ask Johnny Mac or Pat McGibbon who picked their teams. Gerry Flynn was given a great player wage budget and full backroom staff, he committed to the same senior management committee he mentioned that we would be a top 6 team, a good run in the cups, players would make team of the week etc. He was dismissed by a unanimous decision by the same 7 man senior management he mentioned after we lost 10 matches on the bounce and were bottom of the league. We also went out of the cups in the first round.
    As for a contract this is total fairytale stuff, he agreed his comeback wages with Jim Feenan I was not involved due to him stating he resigned due to me interfering with team affairs. We made it very clear we expected a written report on all first team affairs that would be discussed at the Senior Management Committee meetings. Gerry Flynn emailed several times looking for a contract and his mails do mention tying himself to the club longterm, he was always told that soccer is a results business and when he delivers on his promises the Senior Management Committee would then review his position. That never happened for obvious reasons.
    The statement released by the club highlights our commitment to the club.

  2. Gerry Flynn

    Dear Mr McKenna,

    You have obviously told that many lies; you can not remember what the truth is?

    Tell the supporters the TRUTH, they can see through you! It was never about personal gain for me, only to get rid of you for the betterment of Newry City Football Club!

    Surly you don’t want me to send the emails to the newspaper to prove you interfered with team selection? I have already made to look stupid the last time you denied it? Even your friend and fellow director was baffled when you denied it!

    If I was sacked for results, could you please explain why Ian Lynch (Club Phyiso) who had been there many years before me was sacked first? Then why was Peter Murray (Ass Manager) sacked a day later, only for the both of them to be reinstated and sacked again with myself self and Pat McAllister (coach) a few days later?

    Abstract from your email 1 game before you sacked me:

    We will honour the wage commitments to the last game of the season. New structures will be put in place for 2011/12 season as this year just hasn’t been a success.

    When I agreed to come back for the second spell, was it not You, Jim and I that met in Mr Feenan’s office and discussed the package? Did you not agree to one of your company cars as part of the package? Did you not calculate the figures? Were you not Chairman of the club at that time? Did you not want to phone John McDonnell there and then and sack him and I told you, that was the wrong thing to do as he would have already prepared his team for the game the following day against Crusaders?

    As you are well aware Master McCorry didn’t think it was a fairytale? You have always stated you wouldn’t pay Gerry Flynn a penny, why did you offer £2,000 before you entered the court room that day?

    Have you a habit of sacking people with considering the consequences? Is there an outstanding solicitor’s bill of over £5,000 regarding to another member of staff you sacked with out any thought or consideration?

    What is the real truth? Was it a personal grudge or was it because of the £540,000 debt you ran up? What is the real reason you let the club be bankrupt?

    The club was a toy that you used to rub your personal ego, you have made a complete mess of it, there is no shame in admitting you failed!

    If you have any integrity, ethics, honesty or morale bones in your body you will save the club and give it back to the people who care about it.

    You have taken this personal, I wanted to win trophies, you wanted to win a grudge…

  3. Anon

    I think the two of you shoud keep your squabbles for the courts!!….. As a person from Newry I can safely say that about 70% of the people dont care. For years Newry FC has overlooked the Carnbane League players and for this reason Newry dont get good support as the likes of Linfield etc…. Fair play to the current supporters who have followed them!
    Then when Newry get relegated out of the premier division… where do they turn to….. the carnbane league….
    What does it say on the Newry Website…. ” Your Club”…… Dont think so!!

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