Chairman update: Accrington game

Sligo Rovers chairman Martin Heraghty has said Monday’s friendly with Accrington is an important night for bringing funds into the club.

Rovers host the League 1 side on Monday with the game ear-marked in the mid-season update as one of the ways to contribute to the club. The match kicks off at 7:45pm.

The Annual Draw generated over €78,000 as another one of those methods but the chairman said the game still represents a worthwhile opportunity.

He told “We were very proud of what the Annual Draw became. It was a shining light of the spirit we have at the club and created genuine astonishment at the level of support we receive. 

“I’ve made the point already that as €78,000 was coming into the club, it was quickly being used for expenditure. It allowed us to meet our commitments and we continue to do that with the help of the Sligo public.

“The thinking behind Monday’s game is to offer an evening’s entertainment as a money-spinner for the club because there is little cost to the game. We are charging our usual prices and it was debated on what to do with that. In the end we decided to with our normal pricing to try to maximise revenue on the night. 

“We have been trying to find a balance on things that affects fans. For example the previous family night at a home game was free of charge. The Bit O’ Red Trust provided travel to fans to the game with Harps. We will continue to look at methods to invest, such as the development projects. However, we have to accept that the first-team set-up is our priority because it dictates so much.

“We are speaking to Liam in relation to the transfer window. We want to provide the opportunity to bring in players. I think the fans will agree that recruitment has been very good this year. He has his belief on what works in this window and what doesn’t, but what we want to do is be in a position to go for a player if he comes along. Liam, John Russell and Dave Campbell do that work very well. We need to utilise it when we can.”

The Rovers chairman said that the committee are trying to plan long-term to increase income streams.

“The landscape is changing year on year. The budget of the title challengers compared to ours is getting further and further away. We never stop looking at different revenue streams to allow us to even compete. Fundraising will stay at the cornerstone of it but we need more creative methods and outside of football. 

“What I would say today is Monday night will be a benefit to us and the amount of support we receive will dictate the extent of that benefit. I’d encourage our fans to come out and we have a host of families activities for children for just €5 two hours before the game.

“We welcome John Coleman who was fundamental in making this game happen. He wanted to help us and pushed to make the game happen. Andy Holt, the Accrington chairman, is a great guy and we welcome all that visit from Lancashire.

“Seamus Conneely is very well regarded by our fans and I know they will enjoying seeing him again. If you can come on Monday night, your support is massively appreciated. Last night’s result – and more so the sheer determination not to give in – resonates with us all.

“We want to compete and we want to be at the top table in the country. We do that together and your role is key. I wanted to explain our thought process and where we are and pass on our continuing gratitude for all our fans do.

“Our position is good one but we want to improve on it and that work is ongoing. See you on Monday night.”