We may be living through unprecedented and uncertain times but Staffordshire Rugby Union (SRU) has acted decisively to support its rugby clubs. It is one of the first county rugby organisations in the country to provide a cash injection directly to its member clubs to help them cope with immediate financial issues caused by the abrupt end to season 2019-20.
It is saddening to hear of the losses of several members of the rugby family and our thoughts go out to their families and friends.
We applaud the considerable effort that clubs across our county have gone to in order to engage with their members as well as raise funds for deserving charities, the NHS, care workers and the wider local community. We’ve heard about some inspirational ideas that clubs are implementing to keep their clubs sustainable in the future”.
On 20th March, The RFU CEO Bill Sweeney confirmed that the rugby season 2019-2020 would end. Our rugby clubs were faced with uncertainty for the future and limited sources of revenue. A package of measures was drawn up by the RFU and CB to support Staffordshire Clubs. Additional support is all so available from Local Government and Sport England
SRU President John Atkin said that the support provided formed only part of the financial assistance available overall to clubs but he was very pleased with the efficient communication between the county and its clubs which enabled the prompt action to be taken.
He was also able to announce that club affiliation fees for season 2020-21 would be waived following a decision taken at the county management meeting, another measure designed to ease the financial burden on clubs in these difficult times.
Our SRU Management Team, and our sub-committees, are all coming to terms with and embracing modern technology and a new way of working. Video conferences are now becoming the norm and will probably continue into the future. Cutting down on journeys to meetings and queues on roads like the M6 has got to be an advantage.
Dave Southern, the RFU Area 5 Manager for Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and North Midlands, confirmed at this week’s monthly SRU Management team video meeting that Staffordshire Rugby Union was ahead of the game in not only establishing a procedure for financial help to clubs but for acting on it so promptly.
Dave has also initiated a small team of dedicated RFU staff from area 5 and a number of SRU Committee members holding weekly video meetings to update on all RFU news and initiatives with regard to Staffordshire Clubs. This team is in regular contact with officials at the Clubs, offering support and guidance and are always available should they have any issues.