The initiative set up by fans of the Lilywhites has been a resounding success according to the club's former promotions officerJust hours after the club was put up for sale, the supporters of Dundalk Football Club gathered to discuss potential fundraising ideas and established the “Save our Club” initiative.
Over 100 people attended a meeting last Tuesday evening, on the same day the club’s lease was put up for sale by owner Gerry Matthews. General manager Paul Johnston spoke at the event and one of the men behind the movement, Dean Arrowsmith was delighted with how it went.
“It went very, very well," Arrowsmith told the Dundalk Democrat. "The last three or four meetings that the club have held ended in arguments about this and that but we made sure that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
"We got our point across, we gave the the DFC Community Trust an opportunity to speak and a representative from the club spoke as well so hopefully everyone will now pull in the one direction now and we can save our club.”
Arrowsmith, who is the club’s former promotion officer went on to speak about some of the fundraising ideas that came out of Tuesday’s meeting.
“We are setting up a text messaging service. We don’t know what the price will be just yet but a portion of the cost of the text will go towards the club. Finn Harps ran a similar initiative a couple of years ago."
"It costs €600 to set it up but we got the cost of that waived," he said.
He continued: "We are also holding a comedy night in the Crowne Plaza. A lot of the comedians are League of Ireland fans and they are doing it for nothing. The Crowne Plaza have agreed to put them up free of charge for the night which is fantastic."
The “Save our Club” movement gathered instant momentum with the use of social media and the fundraising events started immediately with a concert taking place last Saturday and another one for local artists scheduled for the August bank holiday weekend.
Former Lilywhite players have also helped out with Faz Kuduzovic donating one of his Eintracht Trier shirts, Colin Hawkins donating three of his old jerseys and Chris Bennion has also sent an old shirt to the club. They also have a signed Andrea Pirlo AC Milan shirt up for grabs.
The work doesn’t stop here though for Arrowsmith and the club though, with much needed funds to be raised as soon as possible to keep the Oriel Park side up and running.
For supporters wishing to donate, a bank account has been set up while buckets will be in place next week for the visit of Derry while Bohemians, who have also struggled financially in recent years have allowed Dundalk to put buckets outside Dalymount Park before their meeting on July 27.
“There’s no secret about the situation the club is in at the moment. Everybody needs to get behind us, the Trust or the club to ensure there is a Dundalk FC going forward," said Arrowsmith.
“The big shock was the amount of fans from other clubs who have got behind it. We’re really appreciative of that,” he concluded.