I am sure you will have received the communications issued by the RFU in the course of last week outlining the steps being taken to reduce the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on Community Rugby Clubs. These are stressful times for us all, but we want to do everything we can to support and assist Surrey Clubs through the period without rugby and to help you plan for a successful restart in 2020/21.
Surrey Rugby will be combining funds from our RFU subvention with a contribution from our own reserves to provide an emergency fund to help Surrey Clubs who find themselves in particular difficulty. We hope to be in a position shortly to communicate how these funds can be applied for as well as letting you know about some other specific measures we are planning that will help all the Surrey Clubs.
Our RDO George Maxwell is available to all Surrey Clubs to understand what is needed across the county, but if you have urgent or critical needs, please get in touch with George or Surrey Rugby as soon as possible.
We would advise all clubs to produce their own projections for the forthcoming period to identify possible holes in their planning requiring urgent management. Where clubs are applying for assistance from Surrey Rugby we will be asking for a cash flow statement covering the period in question and direct contact from an officer of the club to discuss specific requirements.
Our clubs range from CASCs to limited companies with a huge variation in structure and needs and no doubt you are already considering which of the various governmental backed schemes is appropriate to your particular structure. You may find the following checklist helpful:-
· Seek Business Rates relief where possible · Review all employment contracts with opportunities to "furlough" staff with the support of governmental subvention · Seek deferment of loan repayments to all lenders · Speak to utility providers to seek support/deferral of short-term commitments · Liaise with all suppliers (bar/kit/ infrastructure), many of whom have already demonstrated great understanding for the plight of clubs · Seek support from your members · Consider VAT consultancy support via Russell Moore (RFU backed consultant - details available from the Surrey Rugby office). Russell has personally helped sports organisations to recover over £4 million of VAT and most recently (this month) has assisted one of our clubs to prepare a claim for many tens of thousands of VAT recovery.
The RFU have now opened a dedicated Coronavirus (Covid-19) webpage to help the rugby
community easily access all the information available during this period.
The England Rugby Community Game Updates are also available HERE
The RFU Loans scheme online application process is now open - more details are available HERE We have closed the physical Surrey office to protect our staff and visitors and to minimise unnecessary travel; however, the phones are diverted to office personnel working from home, email is being fully serviced and social media is being updated regularly. If you have already found things that have worked with your club, do let us know and we will share them across our rugby community. I would like to pass on our sincere thanks to all of you who are working to maintain critical services in our communities and wish you, your families and the entire Rugby family a safe and healthy future. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any queries. Stay safe!