Athlone Town have released a statement highlighting the importance of a public meeting about the future of the SSE Airtricity League First Division club at the Shamrock Lodge tonight, Thursday March 19 at 8.30pm.
Despite making a satisfactory start to the season on the pitch Athlone are encountering difficulties and hope for a significant attendance. “The committee of Athlone Town FC wishes to remind the general public of the vital importance of this meeting with particular regard to the future of the club at League of Ireland level,” the statement read.
“At this moment in time the club is struggling within severe financial constraints to continue operate at this high level and although there have been appeals for more public involvement the level of support it needs for its adequate survival has not been forthcoming.
“Again it has only been through the generous support of our committees, our patrons, and our loyal supporters that we’ve been able to operate and successfully compete to date and of course the continuing importance and survival of our club with its prestige and pride to the people of the town cannot be underestimated.
“We would again appeal to the public, the business community, our councillors, TDs, and all other organisations in Athlone Town, the home of the oldest senior football club in the Republic of Ireland to come out to show your support at this important meeting.”
Having suffered relegation from the Premier Division last season Athlone Town’s current position is under threat. The local sporting and business community can play a leading part in steering Athlone back into the top flight of Irish football.
Seven years ago Athlone encountered similar problems, but the grim financial reality of senior football in this country continues to threaten the existence of several clubs, who are struggling to stay afloat.
There is tradition and potential in Athlone which has been shown in the opening couple of weeks of the SSE Airtricity League campaign. On Friday evening Eddie Wallace’s side cruised to a convincing 4-0 success over Cobh Ramblers at Lissywollen.
Garbhan Coughlan and Marco Chindea both scored two goals each during the rout as the Midlanders controlled the game from start to finish.
Coughlan netted after six minutes and Chindea bagged a brace before the interval as Athlone were in the ascendancy.
After the restart Coughlan sealed the deal with a 63rd minute strike meaning Athlone have now taken four points from their first two fixtures.