GMCL Briefing (2) for clubs– COVID-19
This is the second briefing following the first issued on the 17th March 2020. It is our intention to post regular briefings via all communication avenues whilst this terrible health crisis continues.
We now know, following advice from the ECB and the LCF that all forms of recreational cricket are suspended for the foreseeable future and as we stated in our briefing of the 19th March the GMCL season would not commence on the 18th April 2020 and that this position will be reviewed at regular intervals. At this time we still believe we are unlikely to restart before the end of May 2020 although we hope for the best.
To reach this decision, the Board carried out impact and threat assessments and identified mitigation of risks where possible. We are still hugely disappointed that it had to come to this but your messages of support through mail, text, Twitter and phone calls suggests we were not too wide of the mark.
Not withstanding the impact that this epidemic is having on our families, your families and all our friends, teammates and work colleagues we know we must work harder than ever on your behalf.
There are some big challenges ahead for us all. We have already set down some changes we have made and proposals to reduce expenses for us all and we will continue to do more and pare down or defer costs wherever we can. Another angle we are currently looking at is alternatives to this year’s presentation dinner to bring events directly to your clubs and bars.
Next week we will have our first online video board meeting and probably have to hold them more frequently in the coming weeks.
We are now considering the two key issues
- The wellbeing of our clubs. We recognise
- that this unique situation will have a heavy financial impact on clubs
- the impact of no cricket may mean players drifting away from the game
- there could be the loss of key officials or ground staff
- the shutdown of facilities could be terminal if not managed
- that support and funds from businesses and grant giving bodies may be refocussed
- When the season gets underway, at any point, and we will remain positive,
- which clubs are able to play?
- what alternative meaningful competitions could we offer
- how can we better work together?
- What is the lead-in time?
Much will depend on any government restrictions that may remain in place and we will keep all clubs informed of the options available at the time.
So, what can you do now?
- We know that all our clubs rely on volunteers and many of those will be in the vulnerable age bracket, so please keep a watching brief over these most valuable members.
- Please ensure you have a way to keep in contact with your entire junior and senior player membership, general members, sponsors and locals and indeed everyone associated with your club; avoid the risk that anyone will become disenfranchised and lose interest.
- Tell the local press what you are doing to protect everyone at the club and the community and your plans to get through this; they will be on the lookout for sports news. It will do you no harm to ask for help if you need it either, promote any fundraising.
- Don’t forget the ground and facilities; the grass will still grow, and the ground will require on-going maintenance. Who can do this for you if regular people are not available.
- Do you have a budget, what must be paid, what is your income, is there a shortfall? what plans do you have? build several plans based on when we may restart
- Have you got a tax bill or VAT bill to pay soon? HMRC have a coronavirus helpline, they will do everything they can to help. This is for all businesses including leisure so read the detail and see what they can do to spread the costs or defer payment https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19 and give them a call 0800 0159 559
- Have you checked you have the best rates for your energy supplies, use someone to check it for you like exchangeutility.co.uk
- As time goes on there could be financial help for all businesses suffering losses so keep a record of exactly what your losses are so you can claim quickly– if you cancelled the overseas and you lost a few hundred quid on visas etc or you lost the cost of flights then make a note, what about players subs not paid this year, match day revenues, ticket sales, functions cancelled, bar stock losses, make a note, keep a record. It is well worth keeping these records you never know.
- We don’t know yet whether ECB or LCF will be able to assist with financial problems, again be prepared to let them know what your losses and shortfalls are.
- What are you doing to prepare for a “Cricket is Back” day to get the community to visit you and play their part in helping the club back on its feet. If we get cricket going this year you will have a “derby” to get the ball rolling
- Tell us if your budgets and plans show you may be in a bad way, let us know what your members are doing already and we will do what we can to find support. Don’t wait until it is too late.
We will continue to issue regular updates but, in the meantime, please follow all the health guidelines on washing away this virus and minimising contact to that which is essential. Please remember you may be carrying the virus and not have the symptoms; following the guidelines helps reduce the threat to members of our society most at risk and prevents the spread to your family, your friends and your teammates.
Let’s beat this together so we can celebrate big style when we see the game we love being played again across the League, the County and the Country.
As the ECB said in their statement “We know that you and your clubs can play an important role in bringing your community together once we get past this period of time”.