A local, Bishop Auckland business, has taken on sponsorship of its town’s football club ahead of the 2019-20 Ebac Northern League campaign.
The Merry Monk Public House, owned by Christian Burns of Monk Leisure, have stepped up following the conclusion of the sponsorship by NEFIRST Credit Union at the end of last season.
Mr Burns, a resident of Bishop Auckland for the better part of the past four decades, is an avid follower of both the football club, and the regions non-league scene as a whole.
In owning a number of venues in the town since the early 90s, Bishops last league titles success had arrived four years earlier, Mr Burns is looking to aid club chairman, Steve Coulthard, in restoring the club to its former glory.
“We (Monk Leisure) took over the public house around three years ago,” began Christian.
“I’m a third generation publican myself and been on both sides of the coin so well aware that, if you can provide an atmosphere, and consistency, for which the public want, whilst being conscious of the fact that things do change, then customers/spectators, will continue to support.”
The concept of motioning towards success is similar in business as it is in sports; if a football club is successful, consistent, on the playing field, and it gives the spectators what they came to see, then they’ll both keep returning, and bring others with them.
That’s the vision shared by Burns and Coulthard, and first-team manager Ian Chandler, ahead of the new season with goals being that of a cup run/success, promotion to the Evo-Stik League, and maybe a first league title since the mid-eighties.
Spending last season as Interim Acting Chairman, Steve Coulthard enters his first season as Chairman full of optimism and welcomes the addition of The Merry Monk as main sponsors for the upcoming season.
He said: “We’d like to welcome our main strip sponsor this season with Chris Burns from The Merry Monk very kindly sponsoring the home along with last year’s sponsors Comtek on the away strip and Vest Construction for our training strips.
“The club is very grateful and couldn’t possibly manage without these very kind offers.
“We also have a few new sponsor boards around the ground but will always welcome others; the football ground itself, Heritage Park, is also available for sponsorship and, with the Tindale area increasing in productivity, then it would be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.”
In being one of those new sponsors, Mr Burns is excited to be a part of the progression, and history, of the football club, adding: “I’ve been following the local football scene for a number of years.
“I watched Bishops at Kingsway and continue to do so at Heritage Park, and I believe that both parties will benefit from the sponsorship we’ve put in place.
“The Monk has been a very successful, and integral part of the community for the past couple of years and we’re a big fan of the football club, and the history which it has earnt.”
As part of the sponsorship deal this season, one which sees The Monk as home shirt sponsors and match-day corporate sponsor, Bishop fans can get a 15% discount from the food menu on production of their club membership card.
The unveiling of the new shirt was made prior to Bishop Auckland’s final pre-season friendly at home to Sunderland U23s on Thursday 1 August before kicking off the new season away to Penrith (August 3) and entertaining Seaham Red Star, at Heritage Park, on August 7.