A new agreement will see Everton FC and League of Ireland Premier Division club Sligo Rovers embark on both business and coaching collaborations. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC has announced a new “strategic partnership” with League of Ireland Premier Division club Sligo Rovers.
The agreement between the two clubs will focus on initiatives and cross-promotional activities ranging from fan engagement, marketing, content collaborations and tailored membership packages.
It will also include the provision of football summer camps and pre-season training bases. And the he clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations.
Both Everton and Sligo have links stretching back many years. Seamus Coleman made the move from Sligo Rovers as a 20-year-old to join the Toffees in 2009. And, in 1939, Everton legend Dixie Dean signed for Sligo Rovers, scoring 10 goals in seven games.
The clubs have played each other in several friendlies across different age groups. More recently, Sligo Rovers and their fans were humbled by the generosity of Evertonians when fans supported a crowdfunding campaign which raised more than €85,000 to help the Showgrounds club with revenue during the COVID-19 shutdown of Irish football.
Sligo Rovers has a prestigious history in Irish football as three-times League of Ireland champions and five-time winners of the FAI Cup. The clubs was bottom of the Premier Division table in 2020 when COVID-19 forced the league shutdown, but returned to finish in fourth place and qualify for European football in 2021.
The strategic partnership forms part of Everton’s wider international growth plans and follows on from the club’s successful collaboration with Chile’s Everton de Vina del Mar and the growth of the Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme in the US and Australia.
Richard Kenyon, director of marketing, communications and community at Everton FC, said: “Sligo Rovers is a historic football club with a passionate fanbase, strong community support and ambitious ownership.
“Like a lot of clubs, Sligo Rovers are working hard to build back after the impact of coronavirus and we are very pleased to be part of a strategic agreement that marks a new chapter in their future and an exciting opportunity for Everton – building on the close relationship that has endured for more than 80 years.”
Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins added: “This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers. We have a shared history with Everton FC over many decades and I also believe we have the same principles and ambitions to grow. They are a perfect fit for us for a collaboration such as this.”