Sligo Rovers create strategic link-up with Premier League side Everton
Jan. 12, 2021
Sligo Rovers have announced a new strategic partnership with Premier League side Everton.
Sligo and the Toffees will partner on several off-field initiatives and cross-promotional activities.
Rovers will also link up their academy with Everton as their coaches develop relationships and exchange knowledge.
In a statement the Bit O' Red say it is the "ideal chance to expand our football club, acquire new skills and knowledge, open up new opportunities for coaches and players, grow our fanbase and all the while maintaining our model and remit as a community-driven and supporter-owned club".
The clubs have previous unofficial links, including Seamus Coleman making the move from Sligo as a 20-year-old to join the Toffees in 2009, and legendary striker Dixie Dean line out for both teams.
Coleman has gone on to make nearly 300 appearances for the Blues and become captain for club and country.
Coleman said: "I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton.
"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."
Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins said the move could lead to more players donning the blue of Everton as well as Sligo colours: "This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers. We have a shared history with Everton Football Club over many decades and I believe we also have the same principles and ambition to grow. They are a perfect fit 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."
Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community at Everton said it is an exciting move for the Premier League club and they will gain access to Sligo’s academy scouting system: "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."
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