Sometimes it takes something as serious as the current situation we find ourselves in, to help us remember what is most important in our lives.
The great Bill Shankly once said
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that “.
Shankly may not have been totally serious when he uttered those now famous words, but he wasn’t a million miles away from the truth. Football is not as important as your health, or having a roof over your head and food on your table, but it isn’t much further down the list for a lot of people.
For a lot of people it’s their hobby, their passion and others, their livelihood.
So when we all come out the other side, after this virus is gone or nearly gone and life starts to resemble some sort of normality for most people, it would be nice if football on this Island was still around for us to enjoy once more. If that’s to happen then we as football fans need to step up and try and help any way we can, no matter how little.
We all know the financial situation of our domestic league. We know that clubs earn the majority of their revenue from gate receipts. We know that the cancellation of the league will have a devastating effect on a lot of League of Ireland clubs. We have already seen the likes of Sligo Rover’s let go all staff and playing staff until things go back to normal as they simply can’t afford to keep paying them without their main source of income. This is the reality our domestic clubs are facing at the moment. It’s a matter of survival for a lot of them. When you see the likes of a super club like Atletico Madrid and Juventus asking for player’s and staff to take wage cuts, you can imagine what it is like for smaller clubs that don’t have the type of revenue streams that these big clubs have.
Log on to Facebook or Twitter over the last couple of weeks and you will find plenty of support for local business around the country. People are being urged to shop local and support their communities. This should apply to our football clubs as well. Yes the majority of football fans on this island support an English team, but maybe now is the time to take a different perspective and help out your local club. Nobody said you can’t support both.
We shouldn’t take football on this island for granted. Hopefully when the League is back up and running we can all make that little extra effort to support the game we all love.
So what can be done to support these clubs? There are a few ways to show your support. Here’s a quick look at how you could help each club.
You can pick up a ticket for their lotto draw online and you can also purchase some merchandise from their online club shop. They have two of the nicest jerseys around this season. Especially that 3rd strip which is only €35.
The club have a patreon page set up with a whole host of content, including four classic matches a month. Subscription costs €20.33 a month and looks to be well worth the investment if you’re a Cork City fan.
The Candystripes have a lovely new home shirt available for sale online. They also have vouchers for future tickets available that can be redeemed when the games are back up and running. You can get them here.
FINN HARPS – The club have a standing order lotto scheme called The 500 Club that costs either €6 per week or €25 per month. You have a chance to win every week of the year. You can buy jerseys and other merchandise by contacting the club.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC – They’ve got a fully stocked online shop that includes a couple of nice goalie jerseys. They’re offering free delivery to some areas in Dublin with purchases over €50. You can also still buy a season ticket, which is really the best way to support any club.
SHAMROCK ROVERS – They’ve got some nice blackout gear in their online store. Similar to what Liverpool released last season. You can also buy tickets for any future home games and they’ll be valid when the games are finally rescheduled.
SHELBOURNE FC – Shels have launched their own patreon scheme with two levels of membership of €5 or €15 per month. Not a big cost when you think about it and well worth it for any fan of the club.
SLIGO ROVERS – Sligo are looking for donations to help keep the club afloat. They estimate a loss of around €20,000 per match night when cancelled. Details of how you can contribute at the link below.
WATERFORD – You can help out the club by buying a virtual ticket at the link below.
Above are only a few of the ways you can support your club. As always the best way to help a club out is by going to a game. Buying a ticket for a fixture in the future will be a massive help to that club.
While searching through the various club websites and social media accounts for info on the above, I was proud to see just how much each club is doing to give back to their own communities over the last couple of weeks, even in their own time of need. It’s just another reason why these clubs deserve out support now more than ever.