The following message was emailed to Members of the Club on 10th October
English rugby stands on the edge of a precipice after club and country announced they are seeking Government bailouts to avoid financial ruin caused by new restrictions on fans attending matches. RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney has revealed a perilous financial outlook as a result of a £122M reduction in revenue for the forthcoming Autumn Nations Cup and £138M for the Six Nations. “Without support we are in danger of losing clubs at the heart of communities across England, as well as players and volunteers, disappearing forever.”
Sweeney, who also revealed that the community game is facing a plunge in revenue of £86 million, added: “Premiership and Championship Clubs will face significant financial hardship. Our community rugby clubs, many of which run grounds at the heart of their communities, are under serious threat.”
Every community club has tightened all purse strings and taken a deep breath, hoping that, when we come out of the other end of the pandemic, they will still be standing. With no immediate likelihood of a return of competitive National League fixtures and paying crowds to watch, at least until the New Year, the future is very uncertain.
We’ve got our 1st team squad and Mini-Juniors back training, following the strict COVID-19 protocols, and that is great to see. But with the prospect of imminent tighter coronavirus restrictions in the North West we have to recognise the continuing costs of running the Club after losing gate money since March, and our Centenary events such as the Barbarians fixture and numerous social fund raising events during the summer and autumn.
We recognise our responsibilities as a club at the heart of the community and we have to act flexibly to protect 100 years of history and plan for the future and to remain viable serving the people on the Fylde Coast and beyond.
In that context we believe the steps we are now putting in place will secure the long term future of the Club at The Woodlands which is our preferred solution. It is prudent, however, to consider all options. A small group of members has been assembled to produce a range of all potential options which could range from a complete relocation of the club or a radical change in the utilisation of the existing site. These options will be referred to members before any actions which incur costs will be undertaken.