Sligo Rovers have signed a new partnership with English Premier League team Everton which will see the two clubs work together on a number of initiatives and cross-promotional activities ranging from fan engagement, marketing, content collaborations and tailored membership packages.

They will also work on the development of joint football summer camps and the opportunity for pre-season training bases for Academy teams at both clubs.

Seamus Coleman made the move from Sligo Rovers as a 20-year-old to join Everton in 2009. Coleman has gone on to make more than 300 appearances for the Blues and captain both club and country.

Further back in history a move in the opposite direction saw Everton legend Dixie Dean sign for Sligo Rovers, scoring 10 goals in seven games and inspiring The Bit O’Red to the final of the FAI Cup.

The clubs have played each other in several friendlies across different age groups and, more recently, Everton fans heavily supported a crowdfunding campaign which raised more than €85,000 to help the with revenue during the COVID-19 shutdown of Irish football.

As part of the strategic partnership, the clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations, making this potentially an invaluable signing for Sligo.

The strategic partnership forms part of Everton’s 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.

“Sligo Rovers is a historic football club with a passionate fanbase, strong community support and ambitious ownership,” said Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community at Everton Football Club.

“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.”

“This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers,” added Club Chair Tommy Higgins.

“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.”

“I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton,” said Seamus Coleman.

“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.”

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