The coronavirus crisis is hitting us all hard, whether you are self-isolating at home, working hard as a key worker or missing loved ones. I'm sure you, like me, are missing one of your loved ones – Esher Rugby Club.
You will have seen on our website some of the steps we have taken to enable the Club to get through this period when our income sources have dried up. All our staff, apart from 3, have been furloughed for April, May and June using the Government Scheme and the 3 staff retained have reduced their hours. Retained players were also furloughed for April which was the final month of their contract for the season.
We have received support from Elmbridge through Rates Relief and the Retail and Hospitality Grant but above all the Committee is delighted with members' response to our GoFundMe campaign which has raised nearly £25k for the Club. If you have yet to donate, or can give more, please do as it all helps to ensure we have a viable club and facilities ready when rugby restarts!
The Committee hope that we will be able to start playing rugby again from 1st September. The RFU is supporting all Clubs to work towards that date but this is by no means certain. Normally in May a team of volunteers gathers at the Club to send out Membership Renewal Packs, this year we are having to do this all online. Many members pay early to obtain special prices for season tickets. This season we will be approaching things differently. If we are to maintain the Club and its infrastructure, we need the cashflow from Membership Subscriptions to help us through July/August so that the club will be viable and prepared when we are allowed to open and given that we expect other income to return only gradually. So to help the club and benefit you we are also offering a Special deal for those members that renew by end June and donate £50 at the same time by offering a complimentary season ticket when 1st XV matches commence. Early bird and standard Season Ticket purchases can be made as per the membership form from 1st July onwards but at this point we cannot guarantee when the season will commence. We hope that you will support the Committee in taking this step to continue Membership on our normal basis. Membership renewal as usual can be done via Post, over the phone*, bank transfer or through GMS (the RFU system).
We will review the benefits to season ticket holders and others once we are clearer about the date when we can reopen the Club. We will do our best to accommodate members' requests, but our first priority must be to have the Club in a good position to benefit when this crisis ends.
The Committee hope that you will understand our position, please do not hesitate to contact me with your views or ideas on how we can keep the Club alive through and beyond this crisis.
Nigel Scott, Hon Secretary
*During this time we aim to open the office on Tuesday and Thursday 9.00 a.m.-3.00 p.m.
Forms will be available on the website https://www.esherrugby.com/join-us/membership-forms.html and from the office