Football

Sligo Rovers Supporters Raise €30,000 In Under A Day To Help Club

Sligo Rovers Supporters Raise €30,000 In Under A Day To Help Club

Yesterday, it was announced that the League of Ireland was to return on July 31, which caused consternation with several Premier Division clubs, not least Sligo Rovers.

The Bit O' Red issued a statement yesterday in which they expressed their disappointment in the format for the league's resumption. The option voted on was to see one club automatically relegated from the Premier Division, with another involved in a playoff with a team from the First Division.

"This format proposed was of particular disappointment to the club and is something we sternly object to," the club said in a statement.

"We believe it is grossly unfair, unjust and do not see the matter as concluded."

The club also outlined how COVID-19 affected their budget, which could lead not only to a lost season, but losing the club as a whole.

The statement continued: "It also became clear that Sligo Rovers would be the club hit hardest by the Covid-19 crisis as our fundraising (€500,000 in 2019) and gate receipts (at highest level in seven years last year) have been decimated.

"This forms 70% of our annual budget."

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The club's contingency plan was to undergo a fundraising campaign through their supporter's club, the Bit O'Red Supporter's Trust.

The goal of the crowd-fundraising exercise was €30,000 in order to help the club cover their losses. Amazingly, the goal was reached in under 24 hours.

Westlife member and Sligo native Mark Feehily donated €2,500 in order to help the club, and he was joined by just over 500 other doners in order to aid the club in their time of need.

Manager Liam Buckley has said that the fundraising effort has galvanised the players and staff to drag the club out of the relegation zone.

"It sends a message and it tells you what the club means here and the feeling on the ground here. We’re all in this together. It is just incredible what people do here for this club.

"This has been a very difficult period for everyone. We've got a job to do and we're going to give it absolutely everything."

Sligo will resume the League of Ireland season mired at the bottom of the table with zero points from five games. The Bit O' Red will have 13 games to save themselves.

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Sean Meehan

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