Talking sport with Darragh Cox of Ocean FM Local broadcaster Darragh Cox of Ocean FM stresses the importance of a big attendance for tonight’s game against Derry City, especially since revenue was lost last weekend.
Rovers need to get back to winning waysahead of Friday’s belated return to Airtricity League action away to Dundalk, but, even more importantly, they need a big crowd through the gate tonight [Tuesday] if they are going to raise any resources for Ian Baraclough to add to his squad when the July transfer window opens on sunday.
Monaghan United’s demise was hugely disappointing for everyone connected with League of Ireland football, and was a step back to a time we thought we had left behind.
The increased licensing requirements by the FAI were supposed to put an end to the Dublin City/sporting Fingal-type debacles, but once again we are looking at a league table and a fixture list now spoiled by rewrites.
I feel sorry for Monaghan – they put a lot of effort into getting back to the top flight, and have produced some decent players down through the years.
But the fact that they could not get a sponsor to put on their jerseys, despite offering national exposure every week, should have sent alarm bells ringing loud enough for the FAI to hear all the way out in Poland and the Ukraine.
Of course the real problem with Monaghan is that they simply were not getting enough fans through the gate to attract a main sponsor.
When I spoke to manager roddy Collins after Monaghan dumped rovers out of the FAI Ford Cup a few short weeks ago, he said
he was disappointed as they wanted a draw to take rovers back to Gortakeegan and get the money from another decent gate. I suspect he was only half-joking.
Attracting supporters is not something that rovers have had much trouble with, which is why the timing of Monaghan’s withdrawal is so frustrating.
Regardless of how many fans Monaghan would have brought to The showgrounds for what should have been a Premier Division game against rovers last saturday, over 2,000 fans would definitely have passed through the gates for the tie. I estimate that admission alone would probably have generated rovers over €10,000 – maybe well over – and that is not to take into account the other incomes such as match sponsors, programme sales, half-time draw and income from vendors, etc. That was money that could have been put into the war chest for the July transfer window, as rovers look to strengthen a thin squad for the crucial weeks ahead.
That money is now gone, however, leaving tonight’s eA sPorTs Cup game as the club’s only income from gate receipts for the entire month of June. I expect that there will be a good crowd in The showgrounds for tonight’s game, given the two-week break and the disappointment of euro 2012 from an Irish perspective.
It’s a far more important game than it appears at first glance, and the club needs the fans to come out in force.
Tune into Ocean FM this Friday from 7.45pm for live coverage of Rovers’ trip to Dundalk with Keith O’Dwyer and Alan Cawley.