Sligo Rovers sign exciting deal with Everton which will help them through the pandemic
In what is a huge boost for Sligo Rovers, the League of Ireland club have signed a new 'strategic partnership' with Premier League side Everton which will see the clubs run summer camps and 'pre-season' academies side by side in the coming years.
The clubs have had a strong relationship over the years with Everton captain Seamus Coleman having signed for the Toffees from the Sligo club back in 2009. Their connection goes back further too with Everton's record goalscorer Dixie Dean having signed for Sligo Rovers back in 1939.
More recently, the clubs have played friendly games against one another with Everton visiting the Showgrounds in 2010. Everton fans also chipped in with an £85'000 donation to help Rovers make ends meet during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new deal was announced on the Everton website with the statement referencing a whole host of collaborations that are set to take place between the clubs. What's most exciting for Irish football is the potential of 'the next Seamus Coleman emerging during the partnership.
"Everton Football Club is continuing to strengthen its international ties by announcing a new strategic partnership with League of Ireland Premier Division club Sligo Rovers," read the statement.
"The new agreement will see Everton and Sligo Rovers partner on initiatives and cross-promotional activities ranging from fan engagement, marketing, content collaborations and tailored membership packages to the development of joint football summer camps and the opportunity for pre-season training bases for Academy teams at both clubs.
"As part of the strategic partnership, the clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations.
Sligo Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins added that he hopes more names will be added to the list of players who have played for both clubs.
“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.
Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman says he hopes the partnership provides Sligo with much needed support during this pandemic.
"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."