The Board of Directors of Finn Harps FC met by conference call on Monday night and will continue to be in contact daily to address the numerous issues affecting all aspects of the club arising from the COVID-19 Emergency. The club wishes to stress that the health of our players, staff, volunteers and supporters, as well as the wider public are paramount at this time, and we urge all those connected to the club to strictly adhere to all guidance on hygiene and in particular social distancing.
The other overriding priorities of the club at this time are to ensure that as an employer we address our responsibilities to our players, and also that we, as a small business and community football club, survive this threat to our future and emerge the other side of it in a healthy position capable of continuing to provide employment and to fulfil our very important role in the community and in people’s lives.
We urge our supporters to look after themselves and stay safe and well until we are able to welcome you back to Finn Park, and in particular remind people to look after their mental health at this time of fear and uncertainty. Make the most of the extra family time that arises as we try to avoid unnecessary contact with others, keep up some exercise, get fresh air and take breaks from the constant coverage on TV and Social Media.
Club representatives are in ongoing contact with the FAI, the National League Executive and the Premier Clubs Alliance in seeking to address the wider issues for the club and the League of Ireland as a whole, and hope that with solidarity all clubs can emerge from this crisis intact. All group training has been halted, and we remain in regular contact with Ollie Horgan and our playing staff and will keep them advised of any further developments.
Sticking Together While We’re Apart.
Football as ever can play an important role in difficult times for those who love the beautiful game and we will endeavour to be part of that and help our supporters in practical ways, as well as helping to pass the time and hopefully lighten the mood.
Our Club Academy have published some training and skills programmes to their players and made them available to other clubs and players online with a very positive response.
Meanwhile Finn Harps are one of 128 participants in an online PS4 FIFA Football tournament which is helping Leyton Orient FC raise funds for struggling EFL clubs who are also in dire financial circumstances due to the suspension of football in the UK. Follow our progress and watch games streamed live by following us on Twitter.
Finn Harps themed maths, English and geography lessons are available on the club website (with thanks to @loimuinteoir) and we will shortly publish some activities for our younger supporters including a fun art completion.
Finally to help while away the hours we will offer some nostalgic viewing through our social media channels by posting a series of classic moments from the video archives, including some classic matches in full for those missing the action at Finn Park.
Fundraising and Finance - Club Lotto Suspended.
We regret to confirm that last night’s draw in the club’s weekly Lotto will be the last for the immediate future, as another less obvious impact of the ongoing situation hits home. Relying heavily on volunteer sellers in our community, our Lotto committee have wisely decided in the interests of public health to suspend all face to face selling. While our Lotto also has a strong following of online players this alone will not be enough to ensure it remains profitable in the short to medium term so the decision has been taken to suspend the Lotto entirely for the time being. Lotto players who have paid in advance for draws or taken an annual subscription will be included in the required number of extra draws when the Lotto recommences.
The club is keenly aware that we are not the only small business locally whose survival is under threat, and that many of our supporters and wider community may have lost their jobs and face periods of extreme uncertainty, while many other important social or charitable organisations are also desperately in need of support. However we have received many queries from supporters asking how they can help the club financially during this period.
We continue to have online tickets for the two home games postponed to date available at https://member.clubforce.com/finnharpstickets to allow fans who intended to go to those games to purchase their ticket now for whenever the matches eventually takes place.
We can also confirm that we have set up some new short term subscription options to the 500 Club which we are making available to those who can no longer play our club Lotto, or who would like to make some contribution to the club at this time. The following options are now available at www.finnharps.ie/500club in addition to the regular monthly membership:
• Single Month - €25
• Two Months - €50
• Four Months - €100
• Six Months - €150
For example, a two month membership at €50 gives 9 chances to win €300 throughout April and May.
The 500 Club is currently the only significant source of income that the club have and will be crucial to our ability to survive as the cessation of football seems certain to continue well beyond the 29th March. We are more grateful than ever for those who have signed up to date, and anyone who is in a position to take a full or short term membership will be making the most vital contribution possible in financial terms. We fully recognise that not everyone will be fortunate enough to be in this position at the moment.
The Finn Harps community and the nation as a whole are in this together, look after each other and please stay safe.