Sligo Rovers held their 2020 Annual General Meeting tonight in the Clayton Hotel, Sligo.
The meeting saw Martin Heraghty begin by giving the chairman’s address, detailing the year for Sligo Rovers which was viewed as a positive one overall.
He praised the committee and volunteers for reaching new levels of dedication and service to the club.
He remembered our former treasurer Loman Gallagher who’s passing affected us all so much, as well as Honourary President Eddie McCullough, with members observing a moment of silence for all those who have left us.
He said that after some disappointing years on the pitch, 2019 showed great potential and the run to the FAI Cup semi-final was the highlight of a positive year.
He commended the management team and players for their efforts. He hailed the work of the club’s academy teams and management, saying this was targeted as a key area many years ago and grows in strength each year.
The Rovers chairman also spoke about the year overall for Irish football, having been elected to the FAI board when their existence was under threat.
Martin Heraghty was thanked following the conclusion of his address and was praised by club members for his sizeable role in helping rescue the FAI this year, as well as leading the Bit O’ Red at the same time.
CEO Colin Feehily addressed members having taken up the position this year and detailed the duties of the role and what he brings to it.
First-team manager Liam Buckley spoke about the upcoming year with the season set to begin on Friday. He thanked the Sligo Rovers committee, volunteers and supporters for making his first year in the position an enjoyable one and spoke of ambitions for 2020. He also detailed how pre-season went and said he is still active in the transfer market.
Brendan Lacken gave the secretary’s report, detailing day-to-day running of the club. As part of it he thanked the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust for bringing a new dimension and fresh energy and support to the club. He also thanked the staff in The Showgrounds for all of their work in 2019.
Club treasurer David Rowe then presented the financial report.
He said the landscape of the league continues to change and the average budget in the Premier Division is increasing all the time because of investors and private ownership.
In a challenging season financially with constant cashflow pressures and tight financial management necessary, the club recorded a break-even figure for the trading year.
The club treasurer said this was a significant achievement given the difficult trading environment for any League of Ireland club without UEFA prize money.
Total fundraising rose to €491,839 – a record for the club. He said every cent of this was vital for getting through the year.
He said the end of the previous FAI regime has provided hope at last and increased focus on the League of Ireland is very welcome.
He said prize money, television money and funding has to improve as soon as possible as they are either incredibly low or non-existent.
He presented the financial picture for 2020 and what challenges are ahead, including a further rise in insurance premiums, which is effectively now at a cost level of two first-team players, and other hurdles.
He concluded by acknowledging all those that helped the club in any means financially and voluntarily and the club’s staff and auditor.
Following Jane Nugent not seeking re-election, it left three vacancies on the 2020 committee as two were unfilled in 2019. All other members remain on the committee.
Tommy Higgins, Roddy Murphy and Rory Houston were three nominations to complete the 16-person committee, there were no other candidates.
The appointment of officers will be announced on Wednesday.
To make the annual €100 membership donation click here