The Shamrock Rovers 400 Club was originally formed in November 2002, by the then privately-owned football club’s board of directors, to raise funds through the Rovers’ fan base, with the sole purpose of facilitating a mortgage for the development of the then-stalled stadium project in Tallaght.
Within a short space of time it became apparent that funds raised were being used for other purposes than its clearly-stated objective. As a result, the membership took control of the 400 Club, adopted a transparent structure and constitution, and declared itself totally independent of the then Shamrock Rovers board.
During the winter break between the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the 400 Club came to the conclusion that Shamrock Rovers was in deep crisis and sought meetings with various bodies, including the club’s board, the Football Association of Ireland, the eircom League and the South Dublin County Council, in order to express its concerns and fears about the future of the football club and its ability to complete the stalled move to Tallaght.
In April 2005, Shamrock Rovers went into Examinership, with the 400 Club acting as the club’s main investor, for a period of three months that would determine whether the club’s future viability could be secured and new owners put in place.
By the conclusion of the Examinership in July 2005, the 400 Club consortium (which included life-long Rovers’ fan Ray Wilson) successfully acquired Shamrock Rovers, and the 400 Club took complete control of the day-to-day running of the football club, having transformed it from a privately-owned entity into an open and democratic, members-owned-and-run football club - similar to many clubs across Europe, but quite rare in Ireland.
Although Shamrock Rovers were relegated, for the first time in the club’s illustrious history, at the end of the 2005 season, its hardcore supporters remained loyal and set about rebuilding and reshaping their club in order to restore the Hoops’ great reputation and get the club more involved in the community.
The 400 Club trustees (now also the SRFC board) introduced a more professional approach to the staging and presentation of home games, as well as affecting sensible business practices to the general running of the club and applying a club ethos that is both attainable and sustainable.
A professional approach to administration, commercialization and marketing is developing in order to maximise the potential of Shamrock Rovers, with a view to creating a football club that can make a considerable contribution to the sporting, educational and civic environment of South Dublin.
At the January 2006 AGM, the Shamrock Rovers 400 Club changed its name to Shamrock Rovers – reflecting the reality that the fans’ organisation was now the football club.
Since then the members’ club has sought to bring Shamrock Rovers back to the pinnacle of Irish football and develop Rovers as a community-based professional football club, serving the population of South Dublin as well as providing football and coaching for all ages.
The club has also developed scholarship schemes, supporting young footballers through Secondary and Third Level education. In tandem with this, the club’s Football in the Community project offers coaching to schools in the South Dublin region.
The 2006 season saw the club regain its Premier Division status by winning the First Division championship at the first attempt. Under the guidance of Pat Scully - appointed first team manager in the wake of the club's relegation in November 2005 - Shamrock Rovers finished the 2007 Premier Division season in fifth place. Following a disappointing seventh place finish in 2008 Rovers started life in Tallaght Stadium in 2009 under new manager Michael O'Neill.
This season proved revelatory for the club as the Hoops pushed for the title all the way to the wire. Real Madrid were also hosted and almost all games at the new home were sold out.
The 2010 season proved to be the most memorable however with Rovers finally clinching the League Championship and in Europe proudly flying the Irish flag by beating Israeli opposition before playing Italian giants Juventus.