Having been relegated from the Premier Division last year, Athlone are the latest in a long line of League of Ireland sides who are now crying out for support.
A statement released on the club’s official website yesterday stated just how difficult matters off the field have become at the midlands club, with ‘severe financial constraints’ hampering progression.
The club have organised a meeting for this Thursday, the 19th of March in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, beginning at 8:30pm. Most worryingly, from Athlone’s point of view, is that this meeting has been organised with ‘particular regard to the future continuance of League of Ireland level’ football.
In what is like a broken record at this juncture, the future of another League of Ireland cornerstone and one of the founding members of the league in 1922, Athlone find their future all from certain.
All one can hope for is that a positive outcome comes from the meeting on Thursday night.
The statement in full:
“The committee of Athlone Town FC wishes to remind the general public of the vital importance of this meeting with particular regard to the future continuance of the club at League of Ireland level.
“At this moment in time the club is struggling within severe financial constraints to continue operate at this high level and although there have been appeals for more public involvement the level of support it needs for its adequate survival has not been forthcoming.
“Again it has only been through the generous support of our committees, our patrons and our loyal supporters that we’ve been able to operate and successfully compete to date and of course the continuing importance and survival of our club with its prestige and pride to the people of the town cannot be underestimated.
“Finally, we would again appeal to the public, the business community, our councillors, TD’s and all other organisations in Athlone Town, The Home of the Oldest Senior Football Club in the Republic of Ireland to come out and show your support at this important meeting.”
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena