Harps Looking Forward as Football Inches Towards Restart

(Photo by Clare McCahill/Extratime)

Finn Harps recently filed its 2019 accounts with the Companies Office and these show a small trading profit for the year. We look forward to presenting the accounts to shareholders at an AGM once this becomes feasible. Speaking to club media Treasurer Lorna McHugh said “Obviously it’s positive to show a profit, which shows we stick to a plan and live within our means, but it’s important to note that that’s just a snapshot of income and expenditure over 12 months, and doesn’t represent money in the bank. As the accounts will show we’re continuing to manage short and long-term creditors as usual, it’s difficult and as always we couldn’t do it without our supporters, our sponsors and the wider public.”

Given that the club endured a difficult start to the 2019 campaign the positive financial result was a real achievement and down to a commitment to living within our means and of course the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, coaching and playing staff and our supporters who stick with us no matter what. We are committed to continuing to grow the club in a sustainable manner even as the COVID19 pandemic leaves us and many other sports clubs facing difficult and uncertain times.

Although the pandemic has obviously meant football had to cease, club directors and volunteers have been hard at work throughout, working towards the day when football resumes. We have been growing the 500 Club, selling merchandise online, working on the pitch at Finn Park, continuing work with the department of sport with respect to the new stadium, engaging with sponsors and partners and planning for the logistics and arrangements necessary for the return of football.

The club is working closely with the FAI on the way forward for the League of Ireland, actively contributing in the League of Ireland working group via secretary Kathy Taaffe and with representatives on three of the four subgroups. Ethan Lee is on the Commercial and Media Rights Group, Aidan McNelis on the Competition Structure group and Paul McLoone on the Facilities group. We welcome the FAI’s close engagement with clubs throughout this process.

Obviously there is a way to go before we return to the field and the safety of all involved remains paramount. We know there will be hurdles to overcome financially, as the potential for football without fans removes the vast majority of our income streams, but also in terms of our infrastructure to deal with safely hosting matches post COVID19, whether that is in 2020 or for future seasons. Ultimately however, regardless of what form any return to football in 2020 may take, we are acutely aware that we will undoubtedly need to raise additional funding in order to participate and are actively considering plans for additional short and medium term fundraising initiatives.

We will continue to engage positively with the FAI and will keep our supporters updated as the path to having football back at Finn Park becomes clearer.