Sligo Rovers have entered into a strategic agreement with English Premier League side Everton.
According to the agreement, the clubs will “partner on several initiatives and cross-promotional activities including fan engagement, marketing and content collaborations”.
Both clubs will also work to develop the relationship between their academy coaches and open up opportunities for pre-season training bases for academy teams.
Sligo also say the “clubs will exchange knowledge across both coaching and business operations”.
Everton right-back and Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman is perhaps the most famous alumni to have graduated from Sligo’s ranks.
Coleman made the switch from the Showgrounds to Goodison Park in 2009 and has gone on to feature in over 300 appearances for the Merseyside club.
“I’m delighted with this partnership between two clubs close to my heart in Sligo Rovers and Everton,” Coleman said.
“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.”
This isn’t the first time that Everton have brokered a deal with a League of Ireland club.
In 1995, they entered a deal with Home Farm which saw the Drumcondra club temporarily renamed ‘Home Farm Everton’ and adopt the Toffees’ colours. However, that agreement expired in 1999.
“Partnering with Everton will allow us to improve..”
Commenting on the agreement, Sligo Chairman Tommy Higgins reflected on a “positive day” for his side.
“This is a very positive day for Sligo Rovers,” he said.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 12, 2021
“We have a shared history with Everton Football Club over many decades and I believe we also have the same principles and ambition to grow. They are a perfect fit 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.
“We have very talented staff and a group of coaches at the club who will learn and develop from the basis of this link-up.
“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.
“Our initial focus is beginning this partnership and seeing the benefits for all parties.
“We’re delighted to welcome Everton as our new strategic partner. We have two passionate sets of supporters who will now be cheering each other on.”