Waterford FC are backing the South East’s fight for 24/7 cardiac care on their jerseys this season. Photo: Joe Evans.
Waterford FC made a welcome and well thought out move on Friday morning when they announced that instead of a commercial sponsor on their jerseys for the coming League of Ireland season they will carry the 24/7 Cardia Care message.
Blues’ owner and chairman, Lee Power, outlined the thinking behind the decision in a staetement as his side travelled to Dublin to take on St. Patrick’s Athletic in the opening game of the 2020 Premier Division campaign.
“I am delighted to announce that for the 2020 season, we have partnered with 24/7 Cardiac Cover for the South-East and using our primary sponsor space to spread awareness of this most vital cause to not only the people of Waterford but the entire South East.
I would like to take this opportunity to be open and honest about how we came to this important decision. In 2019, we had secured a main sponsor which was valued to the club in excess of €100,000. In terms of sponsorship, this was a big deal. Of course, the prospect of securing a European place played a huge role in securing such an amount. This season, a number of local and national businesses once again stepped up to secure the position as our main sponsor, however, the amount of the previous deal could not be matched due to the lack of European football this season (something we will fight for this season).
“It was during the course of pre-season, I had been made aware of this cause and quite honestly, shook me to my core. I could not believe that after 5 pm, the South East of Ireland’s main cardiac care unit closed and could sometimes take up to two hours for patients to arrive at a medical centre with the appropriate equipment in which to treat them. It made me think of my own father who has suffered from cardiac issues in the past, that if he was still in his hometown, he might not be with us today.
‘WE’RE A COMMUNITY’
“It was this above all things that made my mind up for me. There have been a number of reports in papers that my interest in the club was waining and I thought, “what better way to convince those of my commitment to this City and County than to get behind the people that have helped us”.
We could have selected the next highest bid for our main sponsor, a decision that some would say financially makes sense but with a cause this important but I feel that we as a club need to reach out and remind people that Waterford FC is not only a football club. We’re a community, one that stretches throughout the South East and further abroad.
“We will play our opening game without the Cardiac Care logo as I have asked to have it unveiled in Waterford first. It must be presented to you, the fans and supporters first. I have arranged for a kit launch to take place at the Viking Hotel, Cork Road Waterford and invite all supporters and businesses to come and see our new home and away kit with this incredible cause.
Alan Reynolds has put together an incredible squad and the staff at the club have put everything in place to make 2020 a hugely successful season. However, it is you the fans and supporters that we rely on to get us over the line.