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13 Jan 2021 : New two-year sponsorship deal extends merseyflow support of Runcorn Linnets

Runcorn Linnets are celebrating the start of 2021 by striking a new sponsorship deal with toll bridge operator merseyflow to extend its sponsorship of the club for an extra two seasons.

It is part of merseyflow's wider community support programme which has also seen it work with Halton Haven, local cricket clubs in Runcorn and Widnes, and Widnes Rugby Union club.

The sponsorship income will be vital for Runcorn Linnets, which has more than 40 different teams, and we are extremely grateful for merseyflow's continued backing.

The Millbank Linnets Stadium and surrounding pitches are home to around 500 girls, boys and adults playing at just about every age group and standard from the 3-5yr old boys and girls playing for its 'Akidamy' right up to its men's first team, which plays at a semi-professional level in the Northern Premier League.

The Ladies team recently won promotion to the North West Regional League on account of success at Cheshire League level.

Runcorn Linnets was one of the first 'supporter-owned' football clubs to be set up anywhere in England. Created 15 years ago, it is 100% owned and run by fans and volunteers, and is one of Runcorn's most active community sports clubs.

All the teams, along with its educational academy, are based at Millbank Stadium in Runcorn. 2020 has been a hugely challenging year for the club, with different teams across different age groups subject to different levels of Covid-19 rules and restrictions at different times, with very few spectators allowed and income streams severely affected.

At present, all playing activities throughout the club are suspended due to lockdown.

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: "This is about supporting our local community. The Linnets play an important role in Halton they have over 500 people using the facilities every week and this year most of their income has just disappeared. We wanted to show our ongoing support to the club, so we're delighted to be signing up for an extra two seasons of sponsorship and support."

Mike Bignall, who was Chairman of Runcorn Linnets when the deal was negotiated and agreed and is now a club vice-president, said: "We'd like to say a huge thanks to merseyflow for extending its sponsorship deal. Every penny that they donate, along with the income from our other sponsors, is being used to keep the club running because we've lost nearly all of our usual sources of income this year."

He added: "2020 has obviously been challenging for everyone. For us, it has been chaotic because we've had different rules for all sorts of different teams to try and follow at the same time and it's been a real challenge for all of our players, their families and supporters to keep up."

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