Lochside Garage

Sponsors to stick with football club despite relegation

BALLINMALLARD United’s six year reign in the Premier League ended on Saturday despite their 3-1 victory at the Oval against Glentoran.
But this week, despite the massive disappointment of dropping out of the top flight supporters and sponsors have rallied to assure the Ferney Park club of their total commitment for the new season.
Just yesterday, Tuesday, three of the main sponsors, Severfield, TC Autos and Jennings Fuels renewed their commitment to back the Mallard club.
This week the club has been working frantically behind the scenes to ensure it is on a strong footing for the new season. Committee member Ivan Fisher explained that several sponsors had already been spoken to and had rallied round the club.
“People think it will take less money to run the club, but it won’t if we are trying to keep a team that is capable of going up next season.
“Our main sponsors won’t be jumping ship. They don’t see us as a sinking ship.” he said. “We hoping to keep that sort of reaction as momentum to push us on next season.”
Ross Maguire, of TC Autos, one of the club’s main sponsors, said, “At TC Autos, we are a family business that hails from Fermanagh and we have always been proud to have been involved with the club, now more so than ever.
“The Mallards story so far has most definitely attracted investment to Fermanagh in all sorts of ways, however the biggest investment it brings, is to our community and that in itself, is an incredible achievement. We are delighted to continue our involvement and look forward to seeing them back in the Premiership very soon.”
Tom Elliott, an ardent fan, said the Ferney club was always a community club, but had grown much bigger than the village over the last 20 years.
“It seems like a significant blow to be going down, but it won’t change the overall perspective and strategy of the club,” he said.
“Being in the top flight wasn’t just good for Ballinamallard, the whole county benefited. There was a massive spin off for so many businesses in the county, but we have a strategy in place and are already working on it,” said Mr Elliott.
Jeff Aiken, former chairman and lifetime supporter said the Ballinamallard team in the Premiership always represented the whole county.
“There certainly will be a shortfall with regard to income and that will inhibit what the club can and can’t do next season,” he contended.
“My telephone didn’t stop all weekend with texts and calls from clubs all round the country telling me they were sad to see us go out of the Premiership and how much we would be missed,” said Jeff.

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