Chairman responds to B’ORST fund

Sligo Rovers chairmen Tommy Higgins believes the entire football club has been lifted by the response of the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust GoFundMe.

Over €50,000 has been donated to the Trust in a two-day period.

It began in the immediate aftermath of the Rovers management committee’s decision to return to play.

The chairman said: “We have been watching it in amazement because it is extraordinary.

“I have to say it has lifted us all. When we made the decision to return this season, it was taking a step into the unknown, with the only thing certain that we were beginning a huge challenge to us all. 

“This is the start we needed in terms of funding but it also means a lot in terms of what it says. 

“We will not lay down, the supporters are with us every step of the way and it shows the connection that is there with the public and alumni of the club.

“I have to congratulate and thank the Supporters Trust and in particular Gerard O’Connor who has driven it tirelessly in 48 hours. To know we have such dedicated supporters working behind us means the world to us all.”

Addressing the next four months, he added: “As we said in our statement, there is a significant gap in funding in what we need and what came out of the summits with the FAI and other clubs.

“We will need our Annual Draw to get some traction and the Bit O’ Red Wall later in the year. But I also hope that we can generate more revenue in other areas. 

“We are hopeful we can have some supporters at our matches and as the season goes on, we’d like to have even more if possible. We are going to look at all of that at our next committee meeting. The logistics are obviously very important and the initial guideline of crowds of 500 includes all the players, teams and officials so that all must come into equation. If it isn’t safe or feasible to have supporters in the ground, then we will take that decision. Finance won’t come into the equation.

“The streaming service will be very good from what I’m told and it will mean every match can be streamed live for supporters who can’t attend. The FAI are working on that so we wait for that announcement.

“It remains an evolving situation and it will continue to be based around the national approach to Covid-19. We are at the heart of the community and we will not do anything that could endanger it.”

The chairman also confirmed that all of our foreign based players are now back in the country.

Under guidelines they will train in isolation.

“Liam has been liasing with the FAI medical team on the situation and the management team are putting in more sessions to accommodate the five players that arrived this week.

“They will be a complete group in two weeks’ time. We are fully behind our management staff and players. They have all played their part in getting The Showgrounds back open.

“They will prepare for the next four weeks and we’re going to be with them throughout, doing all we can.”

The Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust link is here