2022 AGM takes place as Masterplan moves forward

Sligo Rovers held the club’s Annual General Meeting last night in a virtual event attended by members.

Over 75 members were present as the 2021 committee presented reports from the chairman, secretary and treasurer.

A moment of reflection was taken to remember all those associated with Sligo Rovers who had passed in the last 12 months.

Manager Liam Buckley addressed the meeting and gave an update on the 2022 squad including the five new signings. He said this season will be even more difficult than the last but he looks forward to facing the challenge with the squad.

Secretary Brendan Lacken went through the minutes of last year’s meeting. In his report he paid tribute to Shane Crossan and volunteer Michael Mulvaney in their role as Covid-19 officers and club doctor Philip Murphy in how they assisted the club during the last two years of the pandemic.

He also acknowledged the success of the men’s first-team in manager Liam Buckley and players securing back-to-back European qualifications.

Last year’s AGM saw secretary Lacken point to a future of the club having a WNL senior side and he said the readiness in which this has happened has been a hugely welcome development.

He thanked the club’s women’s committee which helped to reach this step. Manager Steve Feeney was unable to attend due to training taking place on Tuesday evening so he penned this letter to supporters.

Chairman Tommy Higgins then addressed the meeting, thanking his committee, the club’s staff and everyone associated with the club in coming through the previous 12 months.

He spoke about the importance of implementing the Masterplan unveiled last summer and said this would be added to later in the meeting.

“Sligo Rovers is a community-based club owned by the fans. I love this model and it is evident that the supporters also like the model as they continue to support the club faithfully year in, year out.

“However, this competitor financial muscle is proving a challenge and we have to focus on the future. The masterplan can be the solution.  It is an ambitious plan, but Sligo Rovers is an ambitious club and we owe it to our supporters to provide a platform for the club for the next 50 plus years.”

Treasurer David Rowe then made his financial presentation. A surplus was recorded for the year as he said it was another successful financial year, aided by more than €250,000 in fundraising, significant Covid-19 supports and European qualification.

As these supports now end, he stressed the true impact of Covid-19 will now come. Rising costs in the League of Ireland, and within the club through running eight teams, has led to a budget increase and these challenges must be met.

He, along with chairman Higgins, confirmed the management committee had approved the appointment of Rhatigan Architects for large scale drawing with a view to the Bit O’ Red being able to apply for planning permission in the summer for The Showgrounds redevelopment. The target is to be able to apply for public funding in the future.

Rowe said the cost of this will be met by the club, while another larger six-figure sum will be needed again for more detail designs. He noted it was a big step for the club to commit such a large amount of money in this first instance through its own resources on the back of transfer money received in recent months.

The club’s auditors Mulhern Leonard & Associates were approved for the coming year.

CEO Colin Feehily delivered his report, thanking players, staff, volunteers, academy coaches and players and all that were part of the Bit O’ Red in the 12 months.

Assistant secretary Mark Cummins gave a more detailed update on the Masterplan, the appointment of Rhatigan Architects and ongoing work at The Showgrounds.

The election of the club’s management committee for 2022 then took place. Six members stood down as per the constitution of the club, with four re-elected unopposed. Licencing officer Stephen Gilroy and media officer Rory Houston did not seek re-election this year.

Kathy Burke and Conor Rushe were nominated for the committee and replaced the two outgoing members. Tributes were paid to the two outgoing committee members for their contribution to the club over a period of years.

The meeting was concluded following AOB questioning. The meeting was covered extensively by local media with more details available in those publications.

The 2022 management committee met for the first time after the AGM. The appointments of officers were made with no change from 2021.

Chairman: Tommy Higgins

Vice-chairman: Andy Dodd

Secretary: Brendan Lacken

Treasurer: David Rowe

Assistant Secretary: Mark Cummins

Management Committee: Marie Casserly, Paddy Houze, Marcus White, Michael Clancy, Michael Toolan, Conor Rushe, Kathy Burke, Martin Heraghty, Anthony Quinn, Roddy Murphy, Martin McDonald.