SLIGO ROVERS will not receive payments from their participation in next year's Champions' League until March 2014, club Chairman, Dr. Dermot Kelly, has revealed.
"Qualification for the Champions' League is a huge financial boost for the club but the money won't actually be paid to us until March 2014", he explained.
Stressing that the club would have to maintain a prudent financial strategy despite the windfall from European competition, Dr. Kelly said Rovers continued to rely on the support of the community for their weekto-week operations.
"If people think there's a money tree at the Showgrounds and it just keeps blooming, they couldn't be more wrong", the Chairman stressed.
"It is the income from our various fund raising initiatives, the 500 club and gate receipts and sponsorship which keeps us going. We're a community club run by a group of extraordinary volunteers and it wouldn't be possible to keep the show on the road without support for our fundraising activites, gate receipts and sponsorship. That continues to be the case"
He said the club would be embarking on a huge effort to increase season ticket sales for the 2013 season.
"We had over 6,000 fans at our last home game so there's obviously potential there", he said.
"Those who came to the big games this year saw what our product is all about. They can experience that product every week of the season and at €15 a game for adults, I think it's fair to say that they wouldn't get better entertainment value anywhere else", he added.
He said it would be a massive boost for the club in putting together a budget for next year if they could sell 1,000 season tickets.
"A few years ago, we were competing with Athlone Town and Finn Harps, but now we've progressed and we're competing with Shamrock Rovers, a club with far greater resources. If we want to keep pace with them - and I believe we can - then we have to continue to attract the support of our fans and the wider community"
The Chairman also highlighted the spin-off to the local community from Rovers' successful run in recent seasons.
He explained: "We had an independent survey done on our home game in the Europa League in August and the results showed a spin-off for the local economy of €25,000. There were 6,000 people at our last home match against Shamrock Rovers so it's clear to see that the local economy got a big boost that weekend as well.
"Perhaps there's a perception that we're always going to the public cap in hand but I think it's fair to say that we give something back as well"