Hello to all Members, Spectators, Players, Sponsors, Volunteers, Coaches, Parents and anybody else associated with our great club.
Firstly, I would like to start by saying I hope that everybody and their nearest and dearest are staying safe and well during these testing times.
I wanted to reach and give you all an update from “behind the shutters” so to speak, at the club, having obviously been closed now for nearly 2 months and the impact that is having.
I will take you back to Monday 16th March, The Prime Minister advised during his COVID-19 update to the public “You should avoid pubs, clubs, and other social venues with more than 60 people”. Within an hour my phone had rang 3 times, with the three booked functions for the up-coming weekend all canceling, understandably too but this was just the start.
The official announcement that all pubs/clubs should close came Friday evening and they should do so that night. This was frustrating for us as we were hoping he would have said by the end of the weekend they must close, giving us the chance to use up the stock we had in the cellar, not to be and the doors were locked and the shutters came down.
Being closed doesn’t mean nothing for us to do, far from it. With no cricket in the immediate future we had to Terminate the contract by mutual consent of this year’s club professional, Jurie Snyman. Jurie was great to deal with and if there is an opportunity to engage him again either next year or in the future we would do what we can. Luckily we had not signed any contracts for accommodation or booked any flights so things could have been a lot worse for us in that department. No cricket means no cricket income and whilst on the whole that would give us a break even scenario we still have to consider the costs of things that had already been ordered such as products for the ground, maintenance of the machines ready for the seasons, ongoing ground Maintenance costs, there may be no cricket currently but the ground is certainly ready if we get the green light. The lads do a phenomenal job and we are lucky to have them helping us. Along with the Government the ECB set out clear guidelines for the continued work of Ground staff to continue to operate. Despite this Geoff still found his picture posted on a local Facebook group from a local keyboard warrior calling him out for working. Big Dave’s response was suffice for it to be removed
In terms of the Clubhouse, well that’s a whole different ball game (pardon the pun). The clubhouse is the lifeblood that keeps us going, Cricket has always cost money with Professionals and Match day fees and the clubhouse is there to support cricket operating as a business. At the time of writing we have not been able to host 22 functions between 16th March and the end of May. This includes, 8 Birthday celebrations, 6 Christenings, 4 Weddings (2 from May / 2 from June), 3 funerals and a charity function. If you were to average the bar takings from just them functions at say £1000 then that gives you a flavor of the income, we are currently missing. We have bookings currently in the diary from June onwards but who knows if they can still go ahead increasing the headache for both us and our customers, but we must do the right thing, follow the guidelines and keep everybody safe and we will do that without question.
We have, like most other cricket clubs received assistance from the Government Business Grant scheme and have also applied for the Sports England Community Emergency fund. These grants (if successful with Sports England) will be used to keep our heads above water and ensure that the financial commitments we have from running the club such as the Loan from when we built the new clubhouse, insurances, Outstanding debts to breweries we use and other historic commitments that are associated with the clubhouse are fulfilled.
There is no question that, as members, we will all need to pull together as and when the time is right both financially and Operationally. We have for the time being, decided not to publish any plans for the Annual memberships until we know exactly how much, if any, cricket we can host this season. Once we do, we will cater the Memberships accordingly. We have been approached by some members wanting to try and help by paying their full membership now, which of course is fine and a great act of loyal support. Hopefully we will be able to get an update out on this matter in the not too distant future.
On a plus point, the recent update from both the Government, followed by the ECB has allowed the option for training to resume, under strict guidelines. You may notice that the nets have been put up this weekend ready for this to commence. Initially we will pilot this with seniors only and look to add the juniors over the next few weeks. We have drawn up an extensive plan using the ECB guidelines which needs to be adhered to at all times to ensure the safe keeping of all our players and coaches. Practice will be for playing members only and allotted times need to booked, please do not just turn up. If you are unsure about anything, please contact any of the captains for information.
Unfortunately, at moment we cannot see your smiley faces or have banter in the bar but if anybody is thinking “what can I do to help?” there will be plenty of opportunity but why not start with our 100 club? for just £5 per month, which is less than 2 pints that you can’t spend your money on currently you could be entered into the weekly cash draw. Anybody interested can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send over the details. The 100 club is a solid source of income which gets used to provide for the cricket section.
Hopefully this little piece has given an insight as to where we currently are as a club and what we are looking to do in the short term with the current levels of uncertainty. Rest assured the clubs Management Committee will do everything where and when possible to get us back to normality, whatever that will look like, at the earliest but most importantly the safest opportunity.
Stay safe and I hope to see you all soon!