DERRY City Football Club received a major boost this week when unveiling former chairman, Mr. Paul Diamond, as the club’s new main sponsor for the next three seasons through his local packaging company, Diamond Corrugated.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
But there was also an additional boost for the Brandywell club with local mechanical engineering firm, GMK (Gallagher & McKinney Oil and Gas Ltd.) and leading local taxi firm, City Cabs, also weighing in as subsidiary shirt sponsors.
And while the total injection of cash over the three years was not revealed at last Tuesday Press Conference in the Derry City Social Club, it’s believed that the figure could extend to a six figure sum.
Indeed, when pushed to identify the sum involved, Mr. Diamond would only describe the investment as “substantial,” adding that it gave him great personal satisfaction to note that three local companies had agreed to sponsor the club despite the current economic climate.
Mr. Diamond, whose company supplies packaging throughout the island of Ireland, also led Derry City to the Premier Division Championship back in 1997 having enjoyed a 10 points cushion over their nearest rivals after what had been another significant season in the history of the local club.
And having returned in 2011 as the club’s main sponsor, he said he was delighted to agree to the terms although he would never under-estimate the persuasive powers of current City vice-chairman, Sean Barrett.
“To be honest, had I been informed a week ago that Diamond Corrugated would agree a three years main sponsorship deal with Derry City, I am not so sure I would have believed it,” smiled the Derry man.
“However, in hindsight I now believe the timing is perfect as the club is experiencing something of a renaissance under a new Board of Directors, led by Philip O’Doherty and I think the future looks particularly bright having won the First Division at the first attempt,” noted Mr. Diamond.
“At the same time, I believe our manager, Stephen Kenny, is the best club manager in Irish football and the fact that he has assembled a young team, boasting so many talented local players is, in my view, a breath of fresh air and something that must be acknowledged.
“Although my wife, Mary and I have a great interest in our local football club as supporters, this is not the only reason for providing sponsorship. The fact is that Diamond Corrugated manufactures and supplies packaging throughout Ireland, including every town and city which has been visited by Derry City Football Club therefore we view this sponsorship as a perfect opportunity to raise our company’s profile and brand awareness as we continue to grow our market share,” he added.
“May I also take this opportunity to publicly thank my fellow director at Diamond Corrugated, Maureen McLaughlin, for her professionalism and expertise in preparing us for this sponsorship announcement. Maureen’s close attention to detail and the way she has organised our presentation in such as short space of time was nothing short of exceptional.”
Mr. Diamond also heaped praise on the secondary shirt sponsors, welcoming both GMK and City Cabs into the Derry City FC family.
“I think it’s also very important to note that Diamond Corrugated are not the only new sponsors to be unveiled this evening and may I extend my personal congratulations to Gallagher- McKinney Oil and Gas and to City Cabs for their generous sponsorship and commitment to our home town football club.
“To have three local sponsors emblazoned on the club’s kit says quite a lot about the business community and it’s my view that the coming together of local business and local sport, through sponsorship, will prove a win-win situation for all in the fullness of time,” he concluded.
Derry City chairman, Philip O’Doherty, described Mr. Diamond as one of “Derry City’s favourite sons” and while delighted with the new sponsorship deal, he felt it was only fitting that local companies had now followed the leadership of the club in attempting to provide a scenario where local players could further their development within the confines of their home town.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate Paul Diamond, Seamus Mellon and James Deehan for their support, loyalty and commitment to Derry City Football Club and I would appeal to all those associated with the club to support these companies whenever possible.”