On Wednesday 18 March I called and emergency meeting of the Burnage RFC committee (whilst we were still allowed to do so) to consider the immediate and mid-term actions we need to take in response to the unprecedented challenges posed by Corona Virus (Covid 19)
Further to my earlier postings we have been monitoring RFU and Government guidelines and reacting as fast as we can to changes required to ensure that our staff, members, visitors and facilities clients are safe and well informed.
The following actions will now be taken.
The Club House will now be closed and all functions and gatherings (all of which have already been cancelled) will not proceed for the immediate future. We are currently aligning this to the current RFU guidance that suggests the season may still return from April 14th and it is our expectation to get back to full service if and when this happens.
Our full-time staff will continue to be paid and where possible complete work from home or complete maintenance and security tasks where no interaction with the public is required for the immediate future unless government guidelines dictate otherwise.
Part time and casual staff that we rely on so much at busy periods have been asked to stand down and have been informed of this decision, but it is my hope that we can get them all back to work as soon as possible and get our club back to the being the hub of the community once more.
The financial impact of closing the club for what could be a longer period will be significant and Paul Wilson and myself are investigating the full range of promised government help and regular payment deferments we can take to mitigate losses at his time.
Certain maintenance projects that were planned in the next month including deep clean of the 3g and additional work on the golf course have been postponed and House and Grounds Chairman, Richard Cowley will look to reschedule these at the earliest time possible, when funds and revenues can support them.
It is not thought at this time that loss of earning insurance covers the circumstance of Corona virus, so we are on our own in terms of bridging the gap!
A significant source of our Spring / Summer revenues are the Car Boot sales. These were scheduled to start on April 12th but because of restrictions on public gatherings of over 500 people, these will not go ahead or get their 2020 start until we are permitted to do so as guided by the government authorities.
We have two significant events planned for Rugby club members. April 18th is the Old Boys lunch and the scheduled game against Wilmslow. This remains in suspension and subject to the RFU’s decision to recommence the league or not on April 14th. We will continue a watching brief on this and make a final decision in the weeks ahead.
May 1st was scheduled to be the End of Season Club Dinner and AGM. This must now also be considered under threat on multiple counts. If the Coronavirus protocols are still in place we will not be able to hold the event. If the RFU reignite the league on April 14th we will be required to play fixtures on Saturday May 2 as they will extend the league meaning players would not be available for the club dinner. Again, we continue to take a watching brief on this and will make a final decision closer to the time.
In light of all the above the committee propose that we suspend the AGM until September 2020 and the start of the new season. The current officers including myself as Chairman and Paul Wilson as Treasurer (both Directors of Burnage RFC Limited), Rick Cowley, Mike Crawley, Paul Bartlett, Mike Thomas, Mark Trehearne, Scott Redmund, Jim Williams will remain in post until such time as a full and proper AGM can be held and any changes can be made through the normal voting procedures.
These are strange times and I want to thank the Margaret Hilton, President and the whole committee on behalf of all of the membership for their support, collective wisdom and commitment to our club.
I suspect that we are more fortunate than some of our peers in North West rugby and my thoughts and concerns are for all amateur community sports clubs in what will be a very challenging few months. I hope that all players and members of all affected clubs can come together and see it through without losing clubs to closure.
Keep safe and keep six feet away.