Dear Members

I am writing to you as your Club Chairman and above all, as a loyal Club supporter. We are facing extremely troubling times with the COVID-19 virus. This is affecting all our lives in so many ways.

As you are aware, the Club has had to close it’s doors for business and sport until further notice.  However,  from now onwards, the Club will be run remotely by the Honorary Management Committee. The Committee are meeting on a weekly basis utilising conferencing technology, monitoring the situation and taking action as required.  As you would expect, this situation is causing significant financial difficulties for our Club. We are working hard to try and minimise any immediate impact and long-term liabilities.

We are going to have significant indebtedness by the end of our financial year (31st May 2020). This is certainly focussing all of our minds and we’re doing everything we can to reduce current expenditure as far as we can.  However, utility and security costs still run on even when the Club is closed. Without knowing when we might be able to resume our normal operations, we are looking at all our budgets and planning for the next financial year.

We have implemented the Government Furlough Scheme to ensure job protection for our staff.  This helps immensely with salaries of course, but is also an essential move, as it ensures we will retain our fantastic team and their skills so we can rebuild our business once this crisis is over.

For financial help we are applying to the Sport England Community Emergency Fund for possible utility bill payments and other essential works, and also grants from the RFU and the Huddersfield Common Good Trust.

The name of the game here, like all other clubs, is survival.

In normal times we are fortunate to be able to fund the sport we love through many different income streams such as our property portfolio. Other clubs do not have this luxury and hopefully this asset will continue when this crisis is over and keep the wolves from our door.

Let’s not forget, we have a tremendous 110 year history of which we are extremely proud and rightly so.  Our Age Grade is celebrating it’s Golden Jubilee, this is where youngsters have been coming to learn and play rugby for 50 years. We are working hard to preserve this fantastic heritage.

As such, we are protecting our sport where we can and therefore, pitch preparation and seeding is going ahead by our contractors at the end of April. This is essential work, as without it we could miss the growing season and this would damage our ability to recover in the long term.  This, along with its members, is the life blood of our Club.

As mentioned earlier, the management is continuing via the Committee and I will keep you up to date as things become clearer.  I’m not saying it will be easy by any stretch but, we will work hard to survive this major set back and rebuild together for our future.

Lastly if any members have any suggestions as to how we may mitigate some of the issues stated, please don’t hesitate to contact me on mark.birch55@gmail.com

Conversely, if any of our members need any assistance, however small or seemingly trivial at this time, please don’t hesitate to contact the Committee. It may be just a phone call or a message, just let us know.  We’re all here to help each other in the best way we possibly can.

Please keep your eye closely on our website www.huddersfieldrugby.com where all developments will be shared.

As always, follow the government guidelines and above all keep safe.

Mark Birch
Club Chairman
Huddersfield RUFC

Management Committee
Bohdan Santar, Terry Savage, Billy Thornton, Mick Brown, Paul Sharrock, Tracy Davis, Dereck Tasker, Tim Nield.

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