Club AGM takes place

Sligo Rovers held its AGM tonight in a virtual event for the first time in the club’s history, with the club reporting an “extraordinary and unprecedented” financial year in terms of ups and downs, and warning of a challenging time ahead in the Covid-19 landscape

(Click here for the annual voluntary donation…/annual-voluntary-donation/)

The club reported a surplus which treasurer David Rowe attributed to the supporter and community response to the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the Emergency Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and grants.

Despite the positive results, the head of Rovers finances said the hardest moments from the impact of Covid-19 have yet to be felt. There was some startling financial changes for Rovers because of the league shutdown in March last year and lockdowns.

Gate receipts for the year fell from €235,000 to €20,000 while the club lotto dropped by almost €50,000.

Rowe said the EWSS made it possible for the club to continue trading.

It was fundraising which proved key to the Bit O’ Red’s cash flow maintaining. The remarkable GoFundMe by the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust generated €85,000 in less than two weeks and provided a cash buffer for Rovers on the resumption of the league.

The 500 Club was the only regular income which stayed on track and was critical for Rovers. It provided €90,000 to the club in the financial year.

In total €400,000 was fundraised by the club community.

Monies owed to the Revenue, bank, committee member loans and trade creditors have reduced considerably.

Rowe said it gives the club the chance to start the year from scratch, but with an uncertain future in the league and the EWSS only set to continue to the summer for now, he stressed the club cannot not afford to be comfortable. He said the €400,000 fundraised has to be matched again for the upcoming season.

A €30,000 to €40,000 spend will be required from a Showgrounds repair project in the coming weeks.

Outside of finances, reporters were presented by chairman Tommy Higgins who heralded a challenging but poignant year for the club. He said he was proud of the role the club played for the community and qualifying for Europe when coming from the bottom of the table was one of Rovers’ best ever achievements. He said the masterplan being devised to lay out the future of the club will be published in a matter of weeks.

Secretary Brendan Lacken and CEO Colin Feehily also addressed the meeting.

There were no nominations to join the management committee. All 16 members of 2020 will make up 2021.

Officer positions were elected afterwards. There are no changes from last year.

Chairman: Tommy Higgins

Vice-chairman: Andy Dodd

Secretary: Brendan Lacken

Treasuer: David Rowe

Assistant secretary: Mark Cummins