Virtual fans' forum reveals Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy has another year on his contract

Date published: 12 March 2021

Football fans were left confused after it emerged during Wednesday’s virtual fans' forum (11 March) that Rochdale AFC manager Brian Barry-Murphy’s contract will last until May 2022, not 2021.

During the event, which ran for 2 hours and 40 minutes, one of the questions submitted by a fan addressed the manager's contract, asking: “Where are we up to with renewing Brian’s contract?”

Host Dave Sweetmore posed the question to director Graham Rawlinson, who responded that the manager's contract ran until 2022 after conferring with Barry-Murphy.

Directing his response at Barry-Murphy, Rawlinson said: “Forgive me if I’ve got the date wrong, Brian, but I believe your contract expires in May 21.”

“22, Graham,” came the reply from the Rochdale manager.

“My apologies, 22, you’ve got another year,” Rawlinson concluded.

No further comment was made and host Sweetmore moved on to the next question, leaving fans watching online scratching their heads.

Barry-Murphy was appointed team manager in April 2019 on a two-year-contract. He initially joined Rochdale as a player in 2010, becoming part of the coaching staff during the 13/14 season.

No formal announcement of when his contract was extended by a further 12 months has been made by the club, causing confused fans to speculate as to why.

Following the fans’ forum, Rochdale AFC released a statement confirming May 2022 as the expiry date for the manager’s contract. It said: “We have had a number of follow up questions about the contract end date for Brian Barry-Murphy. We can confirm that his contract with the club runs until May 2022.

“We accept and apologise that communication on this topic hasn’t been up to the high standards we aspire to.”

When Rochdale Online requested details on exactly when the contract extension had been agreed, Rochdale AFC declined to comment.

With Rochdale scoring just one goal in the past nine games and with just one win in their last seventeen games, the club is currently bottom of Sky Bet League One and five points from safety with 12 games remaining.

At its peak during the online forum, there were almost 1,000 live viewers. As well as presentations from the chief executive and finance director, a number of topics were discussed, including the club’s philosophy, playing style, support of the management team, how Covid-19 has impacted Rochdale financially, the Crown Oil Arena playing surface, Dale Lotto, and many more.

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