Sligo Rovers announce ‘strategic partnership’ with Everton

Two clubs have shared strong links since Séamus Coleman’s transfer to Merseyside

Sligo Rovers have announced a new “strategic partnership” with Premier League giants Everton. The club says that it will involve the development of links across a wide number of areas including commercial, fan engagement and coaching.

In a statement, Rovers say they see the arrangement as “an 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.”

Séamus Coleman, who moved to Goodison Park from The Showgrounds, said that “this partnership will benefit both clubs and, in particular, can provide support to Sligo from the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Rovers have, like other League of Ireland clubs, found the past year a particular challenge but succeeded in raising significant funds from its supporters to get through last year. Announcing the new partnership, Rovers suggested that that fundraising drive had been aided by Everton fans.

"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," said Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins. "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.

Richard Kenyon, Everton's director of marketing, communications and community described it as a "exciting collaboration" that will include "events and business knowledge exchange to soccer camps, academy training bases and access to Sligo Rovers' scouting network".

During the late 1990s Everton had links with Home Farm in Dublin with Richard Dunne having moved between the clubs in 1996.