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Shamrock Rovers


Life President
Oct 27, 2003
Shamrock Rovers and fan ownership

I recently attended my first Shamrock Rovers match. Rovers, seven or eight years ago were in a similar position to where we are. They had no ground, no assets and they owed a huge amount of money to the tax man and various other creditors.

400 supporters came together in November 2002 to form the Shamrock Rovers Members Club with the specific intention to raise money to facilitate a mortgage application on the site of their proposed new ground. Following the Club's entrance into Examinership - essentially the Irish version of Administration although slightly different to how we understand it - the 400 Club (as the members club had become known) bought the football club and saved it from extinction.

The first season after the purchase, Rovers (managed by Pat Scully) were promoted back to the top-flight of Irish football. Their ownership has also seen the Club finally move into it's new stadium at Tallaght and the Club has re-established itself in domestic and European competition.

Annoyingly, the guy I work with who was a founder member of the 400 Club has gone on holiday today for two weeks. I'm trying to get hold of him to talk it through but from what I understand the logistics work that each member pays €50 per month by Direct Debit. For that you get your season ticket, your part-ownership of the Club and various benefits such as discounts at local shops, etc.

I don't think that this model would work as an exact fit for our situation, and the membership payment would need to be much higher for us or not include the season ticket (a seaso at Rovers works out to about £125 per year) but it seems to me to be a framework that we could adapt to save the football club itself in the event of an administration in the next couple of weeks.

So, for all of the talk about protests and for all the anguish that we're all feeling about what is happing to SUFC, do we think that we could get enough people involved to buy the Club itself? Let Ron Martin, Sainsburys and whoever else work out how to keep the Fossetts Farm and Roots Hall developments on track and let the Club be seperated from the current network of companies that it is intertwinned with and just keep it alive, which is the only thing that matters right now.

Shamrock Rovers are half the size of Southend United. They have 500 fans willing to put their money where their mouth is. The question is do we have 1,000 fans willing to do the same?
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