Sligo Rovers and Everton announce new strategic partnership
Sligo Rovers have announced a new strategic partnership with Liverpool-based English Premier League side Everton Football Club.
The agreement will see Rovers and Everton partner on several initiatives and cross-promotional activities, including fan engagement, marketing and content collaborations.
Academy coaches from both clubs will also develop relationships, and there will be an opportunity for pre-season training bases for academy teams at both clubs. The clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations.
The successful Sligo Rovers camps for children will be expanded for the development of joint camps, to include improved services, access and more coaching and enjoyment for participants.
Announcing the partnership on their website today, Sligo Rovers said they view this partnership as an ideal chance to expand the football club, acquire new skills and knowledge, open up new opportunities for coaches and players and grow its fanbase, all while maintaining its model and remit as a community-driven and supporter-owned entity.
There have been strong links between the clubs throughout their histories, most recently in 2009 when Seamus Coleman made the move from Rovers to the Toffees as a 20-year-old. Since then the Donegal man has made more than 300 appearances for Everton and become captain for the club and his country.
Back in 1939, Everton great Dixie Dean signed for Rovers, scoring 10 goals in seven games and inspiring the Bit o’ Red to the final of the FAI Cup.
“I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton,” said Coleman in reaction to today's announcement.
“I’ll be forever grateful to Sligo for giving me my start in professional football and for helping to pave the way for my move to Everton, the club I am proud to captain and represent each and every day.
“This partnership will benefit both clubs and, in particular, can provide support to Sligo from the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
For Everton, the strategic partnership forms part of their 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.
“This exciting partnership is another step in our own international growth plans and offers clear benefits to both clubs. From joint fan engagement opportunities, events and business knowledge exchange to soccer camps, academy training bases and access to Sligo Rovers’ scouting network, it is an exciting collaboration. We look forward to exploring new and innovative new ways of working together.”
Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins added: “This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers. We have a shared history with Everton Football Club 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.
“Partnering with Everton will allow us to improve in many key areas, such as commercial activity, fan services and also the development of our academy coaches, which is of utmost importance.
“We have very talented staff and a group of coaches at the club who will learn and develop from the basis of this link-up.
“We hope it is the beginning of a very fruitful partnership and perhaps, in time, more names will be added to those that have proudly represented Sligo Rovers and Everton.
“Our initial focus is beginning this partnership and seeing the benefits for all parties.
“We're delighted to welcome Everton as our new strategic partner. We have two passionate sets of supporters who will now be cheering each other on.”