We have now been in “Lockdown” for 6 weeks, so your Committee thought it important that we give you an update on where we, as a club, stand during this “unprecedented” crisis.
Firstly, I need to inform you about the Annual General Meeting (AGM). We are required to hold an AGM annually and this is the opportunity for your Committee to inform you about what has happened in the past year and also where the Commitee is looking to take the Club in the future. It is also an opportunity for Members to question the Committee on any matter relating to the Club.
Traditionally, we have held the AGM after the end of the season, in early May. However, with the current crisis, it is not going to be possible to hold the AGM this May, due to government restrictions. Some say that the numbers we usually get to the AGM is Social Distancing, but nevertheless, we cannot host the AGM at the Club.
We did consider having a virtual AGM over “Zoom” or similar, but that automatically excludes the Technophobes such as our ex-Chairman!!
The Committee has taken a decision, which we hope you will support, to put the AGM back until August, or whenever we get out of this Lockdown. There is one issue that we do need to sort, however, and that is the appointment of Directors. We have decided that the Directors who were due to retire at this AGM will be re-appointed for a new term. This will be subject to approval whenever the AGM is held.
These are unusual circumstances, which nobody could have foreseen in writing the Club Rules, but feel it is the right thing to do to protect the integrity of the club during the period of lockdown.The Committee can assure the Members that this is being done with the very best of intentions and the Membership will be given the opportunity to discuss these re-appointents as soon as possible after the club re-opens.
There are 2 “Officers” and 3 Directors due to “Retire in Rotation” at the 2020 AGM and these are President (Peter Ratcliffe), Treasurer (Steve Harrison), Directors Dave Smith, Dave Wild and Rick Wilkinson.
Thank you for you support in this matter.
Now, a bit of an update on where the Club stands. Your Committee had been working very hard over the last few years to get the Club on a strong financial footing and this is holding us in great position going into the crisis. As soon as the Lockdown came, we worked hard to implement a set of Lockdown procedures to mitigate the damage caused by the crisis.
As soon as the Club was closed, in compliance with Goverment guidelines, we furloughed all staff. We are now in the process of claiming the 80% of staff wages which is being paid to our staff to help them through this period. We have also claimed the Retail and Hospitality Grant, but have not yet received this.
Our Treasurer has being working diligently in trying to reduce our costs and payments. RFU loans have been delayed and payment from them expedited, a “loss of Business” claim is being made with the Insurance copmpany and further loans and grants are being explored. Currently we are weathering the crisis well financially. If everything turns out to plan, the club is more than capable of lasting for 4…5 months in Lockdown and coming out the other side finanacially stable. However, this will almost certainly have an effect on projects we were looking to complete over the summer and the coming season.
We are not standing still, however. Working within the Government regulations, our Grounds Team have been diligently working on the pitches, getting an earlier start than would otherwise have been possible. Pitches have been levelled and fertilised and are currently in the process of being seeded. This is taking longer than usual as we are having to do this by hand rather than through subcontractors. We are hoping to have a pump in our Borehole this week and this will give us “free” water for irrigation.
Income is the main problem as we have no real way of achieving this until the Club re-opens. We have no bar or catering income during the period of closure and this accounts for nearly 60% of our income. Membership Fees add a further 25% and we have considered asking Members to pay their Membership early. However, at present we are holding back from this. We have, unfortunately had to postpone our main summer fundraiser, The Whitefield Festival, as we cannot see any way that we will be out of lockdown in time to put this on.
You Committee is working hard on your behalf and we are confident that we will come out of the crisis in a great shape and ready for the next challenge. In the meantime, please keep looking at this website (www.sedgley-tigers.com) and Social Media (@SedgleyTigersRufc) for further updates. If you have any questions at all during this lockdown, please contact me, Steve Ward, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we all meet again, KEEP SAFE.