Coronavirus Update: Letter from RWBTFC Chairman

Thursday 19th March 2020

Please read here an important letter from Royal Wootton Bassett Town chairman Andy Walduck to all club members regarding the Coronavirus situation:

Dear all,

You are all aware that we have been hit with exceptional circumstances, which is impacting on the club's activities but, more importantly, impacts on all of us and our extended families. I do wish you and your family well during this very difficult time.

There are many questions around "what's next", but neither our governing bodies nor in fact the government itself have the answers right now. As we have seen, policy is changing day-by-day. The next formal league review is set for early / mid-April. In the meantime, our focus is to assist in the process of keeping our members safe by not assisting the spread of the Coronavirus.

You have seen, I am sure, that games across all sections of the club have been postponed indefinitely, while recently there has been the need to stop all teams from training. This decision was not made by Royal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club directly, but by our leagues and the Football Association. And these are decisions, which we must follow.

As a consequence, I can now confirm that the Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association, of which the football club is a member, will be closing as from today. Due to the timing, this specifically impacts on the tennis and running clubs as well. As they are currently out of season, the cricket club is yet to fully assess the impact on them directly.

Despite this closure, the Sports Association's and its members' fixed costs remain in place – specifically our ground rent, rates, insurance, groundsman and staff salaries (although reduced) as well as pitch materials, which is driven by the time of year. All these continue, which the Football Club and all other Sports Association member clubs must continue to pay in order to ensure the facility remains in good operational condition in readiness for our return.

We all need to stick together right now through the next four to six weeks, and I urge for your continued support by not stopping any monthly fees at this time. Should our club's income become reduced, then this will place us at financial risk, with the ongoing impact on the Sports Association, which could lead to long-term closure of the facility.

Following an emergency meeting last night, significant effort is being made to reduce the Sports Association's costs. However, even stopping all bar critical services, the Sports Association are forecasting a loss over the next two months. As we move towards the spring and summer months and if we have a financial surplus, we will discuss how best to use these monies in way of potentially returning them to our members.

We are also open to the fact that some families' incomes will be negatively impacted, for example as local businesses close. If you are unfortunate enough to be impacted in this way, please speak with your team's coach before taking any action. If you decide to stop payments without relaying this to the club, then the club will de-register the player(s) and we will not be able to guarantee they can play should the leagues re-start.

Finally, please keep safe and we hope to see you again shortly when we are able to re-open. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Yours in sport,

Andy Walduck

Royal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club Chairman

Last modified on Thursday 19th March 2020 at 08:15.