Southport FC Chairman Ian Kyle has issued a rallying call for local businesses to support the Club as they chase promotion.
Mr Kyle says the Sandgrounders have been hit hard financially by the impact of the Covid pandemic, and have been battling hard to regain the levels of corporate support that they enjoyed before Covid struck the UK in March 2020.
He said officials are working extremely hard to bring new revenue on board with various opportunities available, from sponsoring boards around the ground to matchday corporate hospitality.
He praised Southport FC supporters for showing huge support for the team week after week, with Liam Watson’s side chasing promotion from the National League North and currently sitting in 9th, just one point off the promotion play-off places.
Ian Kyle told BBC Radio Merseyside: “It’s difficult because we have lost the momentum.
“Two or three years ago every club will have had plans in place, and business plans in place, and that obviously all went to the wall with lockdowns and Covid, so we have lost a lot of momentum that we had going.
“Now fans have started to come back and that’s great.
“We appreciate the support, particularly at this time with the cost of living crisis.
“Where we have lost the momentum is with commercial sponsorship.
“The clubs survive on commercial sponsorships. They survive on local businesses sponsoring boards around the ground, coming to hospitality, we have lost all that.
“It is difficult because nowhere near as much sponsorship has returned to the club and that’s how we survive.
“It has been difficult and we are lucky at the moment that the fans have come back but we are on a daily basis going out and contacting local businesses and trying to get that sponsorship back and that support back across Southport.”
Asked why he thought income from businesses is not yet coming back to the club at pre-pandemic levels, Ian Kyle said: “I think it is a combination of factors. I think first and foremost they have sponsored us in the past and that will have been seen as dead money because they weren’t about to come to the games during lockdown. So it is then difficult to sponsor a game when you have no benefit.
“Everyone is tightening their purse strings at the moment anyway as so there is a combination of factors.
“There is a marked decrease in the support we have had. That does make life difficult.”
- Are you interested in learning more about commercial or corporate hospitality opportunities at Southport Football Club? Please contact Head of Commercial Steve Dewsnip via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07956780437.
- Southport FC play at Home against Boston United at 3pm this Saturday (10th December 2022). You can buy tickets through the Club website here.
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