Lewes director Charlie Dobres has admitted their sponsorship deal with Lyle and Scott is one of the biggest in the club’s history.

The Rooks announced on Monday that a six-figure investment has been made in the club by the premium fashion label.

This unique collaboration will include an in-depth content series, purchasing of new key players, shirt sponsorship of both the women’s and men’s teams, grassroots community outreach and development of club facilities.

But Dobres admits it is a huge investment, especially for a club that is 100% community owned.

He said: “It is a very big deal.

“This is certainly the biggest sponsorship deal that Lewes football club has had to date.

“As far as we know for an FA Women’s Championship club and certainly one that doesn’t have a men’s Premier League team backing them, it is one of the biggest deals by some distance in women’s football as well.

“It is hard to know exactly on the women’s side because an awful lot of the deals that are done in the Women’s Super League (WSL) and Championship are ones which are usually connected with an existing deal with the men’s team.

“So, it is hard to know exactly, but it is pretty clear to us that as a standalone deal I doubt there has been one that is bigger.”

Lewes have worked hard for years on their gender equality message, which saw them become the first club to pay their women’s and men’s players the same wages.

Dobres revealed that the profile of the women’s team plus their equality message have attracted a lot of interest in sponsorships.

He said: “It is absolutely brilliant. Obviously, it is a fantastic vote of confidence in Lewes football club and confidence in women’s football.

“The deal is for both the women’s and the men’s team, which is fantastic.

“There is no doubt that the profile of our women’s team and our stance on gender equality have attracted a lot of sponsorship interest of which this is one of them.”

The deal with Lyle & Scott will initially run until Summer 2021 with conversations taking place in the new year about extending the deal beyond that point.

Ben Gunn, who is a brand director for Lyle and Scott explained why they chose to invest in the Rooks.

He said “Lewes FC is a beacon in the sporting world, a fan owned football club whose principles and values extend way beyond the football field, which is something that genuinely excited us.

“Our focus at Lyle and Scott is on building a community, supporting, and collaborating with those whose vision is a powerful conduit for change across fashion, sport and music.

“We didn’t see this as an opportunity to sponsor Lewes FC but rather an opportunity to help them tell their story, support their journey, whilst creating content opportunities that will allow a much wider audience to appreciate the outstanding work the club does.”

Lewes have put a lot of hard work into securing the deal with the well-know clothing brand.

Dobres admits that the sponsorship has taken years of preparation.

He said:“I think we started talking about this deal a couple of months ago, but the preparation for it started ten years ago when the club became community owned in 2010.

“Then we started a journey of really putting the community at our core and we started the journey of building up women’s football.

“Every deal we do is ten years in the making and that is true of a lot of conversations we are now starting to have.

“I think it is really gratifying because everything we do is out of genuine belief and authenticity.

“But it is great when that also pays off because it now really confirms that people see us a different kind of football club and hopefully the kind that they want to back.”