Finn Harps secretary John Campbell has warned that the club’s current model will collapse unless more supporters pay through the turnstiles.
Harps, who are vying for promotion back to the Premier Division having been relegated from the top flight last year, have struggled to attract crowds to Finn Park during the summers months, but can expect to see a surge if, as expected, they make the play-offs.
Harps have the second highest average attendance in the First Division – 667, compared with Shelbourne’s 675 – but Mr Campbell says they need to attract more fans.
Harps, who host Wexford on Friday night in Ballybofey, recently announced a restructure of the club’s academy, and in 2019 will field an Under-13 team at National League level.
The underage set-up takes over €100,000 annually to run.
“It’s not sustainable without support – it’s as simple as that,” Mr Campbell said.
“There is no way that a structure like this can be kept on the cheap. People need to see that.
“The fans need to come out in greater numbers.
“We have structures in place with back-up for our players. We are doing all the work and Finn Harps now, for the first time, have a pathway for players through to the League of Ireland.
“There is a price tag on that. It will cost in excess of €100,000 for Finn Harps to run the underage this season. It’s very professional and we’re lucky to have the people we do looking after that – but you have to pay for that sort of a set up.”
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