Tue 12 Jan 2021 16:27

CHAIRMANS UPDATE *** TUESDAY 12 JANUARY 2021

As you all will now be aware, on the Governments directive and guidance from the RFU, all amateur rugby both senior and age grade (under 18) has been suspended until further notice with the return to Stage A on the Return to Rugby roadmap.

I know this is very disappointing for all our members, but with ever increasing cases and pressure on the NHS, it could have been the only sensible option available to the authorities.

Firstly, I would like to thank all members who responded to the clubs call to renew membership in a timely manner back in late August 2020, clearly a gesture from all members to support the club and keep operations financially viable throughout these extraordinary times.

In respect of lost income, I can advise you that we will have lost profit from income for the period 16th March 2020 to 31st March 2021 from clubhouse commercial activity including the club shop in the region of £53K, so really membership fees  have been the only real financial lifeline for the club.

As a management committee we have worked tirelessly to keep a firm grip on the club’s finances and based on entitlement we have secured grants and continue to pursue those becoming available.

Additionally, I would like to thank and highlight the support of our sponsors, many of whom are small to medium size local businesses. Their support in a season with little and no competitive rugby activity and limited exposure for themselves is very greatly appreciate, this has been invaluable financially.

Please take a minute to view our sponsors at https://winchesterrugby.rfu.club/club-sponsors to see who they are and what they do.

Even though we have capped budgets as best we can, we do still have operating costs on a large clubhouse, vast grounds and general costs associated with providing equipment for rugby activities.

In addition to general costs, we have encountered some unexpected expenses related to storm damage, an essential need to replace grounds plant that has become end of life , upgrade of the CCTV and external security lighting and essential works to the car park and roadway for health and safety reasons.

We also have some capital projects that must be completed on health and hygiene reasons before the season 2021/22 commences namely the refurbishment of the ladies and gent’s shower/WC areas in the changing rooms and the physio room. The estimated costs to complete these very essential works is in the region of 25k.

Whilst we acknowledge you as members are obviously not getting value for money currently for your membership fees paid back at the beginning of the season, it has truly been the saviour of our great community rugby club. I can promise you all that once we see the back of wretched virus and we can take stock of the finances available, as a committee we will consider membership fees for next season that reflects lack of rugby in season 2020/21.

We appreciate that some members may be having their own financial difficulties in these unprecedented times and I would remind you that the club has a hardship policy (which includes refunds).

Any member in this situation can in the strictest confidence, contact Matt Stagg (DOR seniors) or Christine Donald, Junior DOR (under 18’s) for advice via the contact section on our website.

Yours, in rugby

Steve Barrow

Chair WRFC #oneclub

winchesterrugby

@winchesterRFC

winchesterrugby.rfu.club

Winchester Rugby Club

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