As always I hope you, your loved ones and families are all safe and well in these challenging times.
It is obviously disappointing and frustrating for all of us that all the plans to recommence playing I talked about in my last message were cancelled due to the current level of lockdown. The RFU and HRFU have been in contact and are hoping to get some form of rugby played this year depending on any relaxation on governments lockdown rules.
Until we can let you know about the return to play I thought I would give an update on our financial position. Whilst we have had some financial help through grants from the government our two main sources of income, the bar and sponsorship, have been decimated as a result of COVID restrictions on the playing and watching of rugby. We are surviving, financially, on the income we get from the subscriptions we all pay to the club for membership. Quite frankly, these payments, made by you the club members, are keeping the club alive and the committee members, other volunteers, and myself thank you for this continued support. Any member who is unable to pay their membership fees’ due to financial hardship please get in touch in confidence and we will be able to work something out. We don’t want lose any of you. As we are likely to end up with little or no rugby played this season and therefore save on some of our operating costs, we may be able to offer a small rebate on next year’s membership fees for those who have paid full membership throughout this none playing season. It is obviously better for the club if we didn’t give any discount so I appeal to any member who doesn’t need the discount not to take up this offer and help keep the club afloat so we can all enjoy our rugby club once this crisis is over. Also can I appeal to all non-members and those that may have lapsed, reading this, to either join/re-join the club as a paying member (cheaper than full playing membership) or give a donation to help preserve the club we all know and love.
Finally I repeat that the core of Portsmouth Rugby Football Club has always been community and family. We are all handling the current restriction and challenges in our own way, but no one must feel isolated. If you or you know anyone who needs support, please make myself or the committee aware. Whether its support to take that first step back to training, walk through in to the club for a beer when we re-open or just a chat, PRFC will be there.