Drogheda to be fan owned

The Future is Claret & Blue!

The Board of Drogheda United FC today announced its intention to transform Drogheda United into a community club, owned and directed by the recently formed and successful Claret & Blue Club.

Like many businesses in the region, Drogheda United has been badly affected by the economic downturn. However, despite the challenges both on and off the pitch, the club enjoys massive support in the community, typified by the unprecedented fundraising effort that saved the club from extinction at the turn of the year. Newly appointed General Manager Sean Connolly said that the Board had in recent weeks considered ways to restore the vitality that surrounded the club before it entered examinership. Various options for running a club successfully were examined and, of those, the community ownership model as exemplified by Shamrock Rovers stood head and shoulders above the rest. Having come to that conclusion, it has been decided to place the club on a non-profit footing with all revenues being vested in the club. A transfer of ownership of Drogheda United to the Claret & Blue Club would give existing and new members a direct say in how the football club is run and would in effect entrust this vital community asset to its supporters. Theres a lot of hard work ahead but the people of Drogheda proved during examinership that they are ready to stand up and be counted. The Claret & Blue Club was formed in June 2009 as a means of bringing a constant, guaranteed revenue stream into Drogheda United FC. It has rapidly evolved into the most innovative fundraising initiative in the League of Ireland today. With a membership already in excess of 200, a trebling of this number would provide the strong platform needed to smooth the transfer of ownership to the supporters of DUFC. Members currently receive discounts in 35 local
businesses in the Drogheda area, and are entered into a monthly prize draw. As an additional incentive to join, main Claret & Blue Club sponsors Panorama Holidays have also offered the first 500 members a 100 holiday voucher.

Over the coming weeks the club will consult with supporters on how best to manage the transfer of ownership.
Lifelong supporter and major shareholder in Drogheda United Vincent Hoey said, The club empathises with the many people and businesses who are struggling to cope with the effects of the recession. We intend to show leadership and to work more closely with the business community, the local authority, the Chamber of Commerce and all citizens to the benefit of the club and the regions economy. Mr. Hoey added that significant changes to the structure and administration of the club have already been implemented with the recent appointment of General Manager Sean Connolly and Commercial Manager Peter Halpin.

In order to secure the immediate future of the club, a Legacy initiative has also today been unveiled under which a number of business leaders will be invited to provide additional financial support and become life guardians of the club. This scheme is targeted at those who recognise that this important community asset is an integral part of the social fabric of the region.
Mr. Connolly said, The support of local business leaders will be essential in allowing us the time to effect a smooth transition of ownership to the people. I am confident that we can reinvigorate the club over the coming weeks and months so that supporters can look forward to a strong and thriving club achieving further glory for the town and its environs.