To all of our Members and Supporters,
We take this moment to provide you with a mid-year review of our club Cobh Ramblers FC.
As we are all aware this has been a unique season for all football clubs around the world and we have been no different. From a football perspective we are all eager for a return to competitive action and we miss that passion and football community spirit around our ground at St Colman’s Park.
We as a club have been centrally involved in discussions with the FAI around a return to Football. One critical item for all First Division clubs was retaining the current position on promotion and relegation. This was achieved and we are delighted with this as it gives all clubs an opportunity to be involved in the playoffs. The return date of the League is Friday 31st. We await guidance on this, and we will liaise further with our members and season ticket holders in due course.
As a club we have had very positive discussions with other League of Ireland clubs and with the FAI in what can only be described as a unique and difficult situation for all parties involved. Now, all stakeholders can look forward to getting back to what we love best, playing football on the pitch.
In addition, the club are pleased to announce that chairman Billy O’ Leary has also joined the FAI Infrastructure committee who are working on a number of criteria for the development of facilities/infrastructure for League of Ireland clubs in years to come.
From a financial perspective we have been no different to all other league of Ireland clubs feeling the impact of Covid-19, However to date we have kept our heads above water and this has been thanks to the great work from our treasurer Kevin O’Riordan and the support of the finance committee.
Due to the impact of Covid-19, the club reviewed and adjusted its financial position on a weekly basis with the aim of having a viable club on its return to football. While we managed to keep our costs under control the added revenue streams via our spot the ball competition and our new online merchandise shop provided critical funding and cashflow for the club to remain in control of its finances. This is thanks to the great club culture we have from players/staff and supporters.
While we continue to monitor our financial position as a club this has been an extremely challenging period in which we feel we have managed prudently to date. As part of the First Division Alliance we have negotiated a financial subsidy from the FAI for return to football under the Covid restrictions.
Off the field we have used the past number of months to continue our progress and develop in various areas of the club. We have had some great success stories during lockdown with over 15 new volunteers coming on board via our various sub committees.
Here is an update from all our groups:
Fundraising/Sponsorship Sub Committee
The newly formed fundraising and sponsorship group aims to organise, plan, and implement fundraising initiatives for the club along with increasing our sponsorship partners within the club.
Our next major fundraising event will be our annual Golf Classic which is booked for July 31st at Cobh Golf Club. It is with great pleasure we can confirm the event will be sponsored by East Cork Crane and our sincere thanks for their support. In addition, we have also succeeded in gaining all tee box sponsors for the event while also having a fully booked schedule. We hope over the coming weeks we will be able to add additional teams to our timecards once advised further by the GUI.
The group have also now launched our Cobh Ramblers FC Summer Camp for all our Junior Rams fans, This camp will take place on August 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th, each participant will receive a CRFC training kit, Joma bag and CRFC water bottle courtesy of our merchandise partner at Paul’s Creations. We are delighted to say that initial interest in the camp has been very high with only 60 spaces available. For bookings please refer to http://Cobhramblersshop.com
The group have made an excellent start in generating income for the club while also building new relationships with sponsors and look forward to more initiatives in the coming months.
Merchandise Sub Committee
Firstly, we would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to every supporter who has purchased an item from the Club Shop or the online store this season. The past few weeks/months have been extremely busy for us and we could not be any happier or anymore proud of that fact. The Ramblers colours are out on the streets of Cobh, Cork, and Ireland like never before. Our thanks to Ian Ryan, John McCarthy, and Gordon from Shopify. We also have Suzanne and James in our own subgroup who assist with marketing ideas and the Social Media side of things and Nigel Carter has been a big help also in assisting us with transporting our items to Adrian as well as the post office journeys. Adrian Ryan from Sports Gear Direct has been a huge help in getting the gear printed in such a timely manner.
As you know at the end of the calendar year, we agreed a new 3-year deal with Joma. We were thrilled to stay with Joma as we as a club feel it is important to improve and continue the strong relationships we are building, but also ensuring we get the right deal for us. Joma are a perfect fit for us with regards to the quality of the gear and the dynamics of the business relationship we have.
We are lucky to be able to provide local businesses with a platform to display their talents. Local artist Brian Wilson has prints available online on the club store as well in our shop in the grounds. Paul Buckley has set up a stall in the shop with us and has been a huge hit with the supporters with his vast selection of Cups, key rings, hats, and t-shirts. We are hoping to get Paul’s store online with us in the coming weeks so keep an eye on that!
It is a very busy process but a really enjoyable one for us, we have received many pictures of our younger supporters and our older ones too showing off the new merch and there is a real sense of pride in seeing that. Please keep sending them our way and thanks again for your support.
Amongst the formation of new subgroups within the club recently, was the formation of the Club Centenary Committee. While we will not celebrate our centenary until 2022, we felt it was very important to get a committee in place who can brainstorm ideas and put some structures in place for what will be a very important year in the history of our great club.
A very positive initial kick start meeting was held on the 10th June in the Clubhouse where numerous aspects of the centenary year from the historical to the celebratory were discussed in great detail. We hope to meet up again soon and go into further detail with some of the exciting ideas discussed.
We would like to appeal at this point in time to anyone who might be interested in joining the Centenary Committee, in particular any former players who might be interested. We would love to have the input of as many as possible who donned the Claret and Blue over the years in preparation for a special time in the club’s history. Please reach out to James O’Donoghue on 0871348610 or by emailing email@example.com if interested.
Sports & Social Club
Our Sports & Social club which has been a great success story for the club over the past few years has continued to add value under difficult circumstances. While the current pandemic has had a big impact on our sports & social club events this group have been as busy as ever.
Recently the group have re-painted both inside and outside our clubhouse, replaced all ceiling tiles, conducted deep cleans and are ready for a return once government guidelines permit to an excellent looking clubhouse. The group are now reviewing/brainstorming for new events which could possibly take place in the coming months. As always, our Sports & Social club continue to be a key pillar to the club’s success.
The primary responsibility of this new and exciting community sub-committee is to act as a conduit for communication and action between CRFC & the local community and drive co- operation between both for mutual benefit.
The group objectives are as follows:
• Work closely with local businesses/charities, encouraging, and supporting their activities through our marketing channels, offering personnel support, and our facility use.
• Building sustainable networks with key individuals and influencers in the community.
• Raising the profile of the club in the community through consistent communications, information sharing, publicity, and promotion. This would include inviting specific groups/individuals to club events/matches/info sessions and inform on future plans and ideas.
• Establish/re-establish and retain a strong community pride in the club moving forward.
The group have currently built relationships with various high-profile community groups such as the Cobh Family Resource Centre, Breaking the Silence, Cobh Hospital and Cobh Zero Waste.
This group aims to promote the club to everyone in the ‘Community’ both in Cobh and the surrounding area while targeting key additional areas in East Cork, Carrigtwohill, Midleton and beyond.
We would like to thank the FAS workers – Daithi, Jim, and Vince for maintaining the grounds so well. Nigel Carter now heads up this subgroup and the priority for us currently is the pitch/grounds and its maintenance. Brian Cullimore has recently treated the pitch and it is looking super for the eagerly awaited return to football. We would also like to thank John Meade for his work on the new external lights and CCTV.
This group is working on ensuring that our training at all ages, our spectator management at senior games and our bar are all managed in line with the HSE guidelines. These requirements from both a football perspective and Bar perspective have required a lot of work. We thank all members in the group for there continued contribution and our compliance officers in each area. This group will continue to monitor the guidelines and Covid requirements over the coming weeks and months and adapt procedures when required.
While it is clear that we Cobh Ramblers FC have been very proactive behind the scenes, ultimately, we cannot wait to get back to what we do best, playing football and enjoying our young players at all age groups develop and progress as players and individuals.
Our club is ambitious, full of positive energy, and hungry to develop. As some of us say “We are building something special”.
We look forward to seeing you all come through the gates of St Colmans Park again to a newly modified embrace from club ambassador Handsome Bob Donovan, it is safe to safe to say he misses the hugs!
Cobh Ramblers FC