Monday 4th May 2020
The following is an update from Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association Acting Chairman Peter Yeardley regarding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Sports Association:
After what should have been our busiest weekend on the calendar, with football finals, cricket and tennis fixtures all in full flow, I sadly conducted my daily security check around a deserted facility yesterday.
I therefore, felt it prudent as we enter our seventh week of total lockdown, to give our members an update as to operations and actions undertaken at the Association during this period.
As soon as the lockdown was announced on 23rd March the site was effectively "shut down". Literally overnight all our regular bookings, parties and bar activities were cancelled with the Association faced with no income.
Our AGM scheduled for April was postponed and will be reconvened at a later date.
Thanks to the various government Covid schemes we immediately furloughed our salaried staff and our financial team of Barrie Brown, Warwick Burnett and Andy Walduck also applied for the small business grants available to assist in covering ongoing operating costs and stock write offs.
During the lockdown various volunteers, working under strict social distancing guidelines, have continued to maintain the site. Kate and Fiona have deep cleaned the bar, kitchen, social areas and toilets. Steve Yeardley has repainted all the exterior dressing rooms as well as the front gate. Tony and Alfie Gleed continue to provide ground maintenance and grass cutting duties for the whole 23 acre site. Keith Sealey and Dave Thomas undertake all the necessary site safety checks, fire alarm, legionella monitoring, shower head flushing etc., on a weekly basis.
All of these actions taken together have enabled the business management team to trim our average monthly expenditure of £18,000 to approximately £6,000.
Yes, you have read that correct – even though we are closed, we face monthly fixed costs of £6,000. This made up of insurance, leasing, fixed energy charges etc.
You will see therefore in the absence of any external bookings or bar income, how critical it is that the various member clubs maintain their monthly ground rent payments. Without these the Association would quickly become insolvent with unthinkable consequences.
The Association will eventually open, no doubt with strict guidelines in place. We perhaps face many months of no or minimal social activity or income because, no doubt, the hospitality sector will be the last to be released from imposed restrictions.
Paradoxically, as we open for sporting activities to commence so our expenditure will inevitably rise, so it is therefore crucial that our business plan is both flexible and fit for purpose.
We appreciate that finances will be tight for everyone, not least for our individual sport clubs. But by continuing to pay your member fees and subs to your respective clubs you are all helping your Association. I know this is a tough ask, particularly when at the moment you cannot avail yourself of the facilities, but I cannot stress the importance of this action enough.
We have the premier multi-sport hub in the region and I give you the personal assurance of all those behind the scenes, that together with your assistance, we intend to maintain that status.
It is your Association please continue to support us – our future is in your hands.
Above all stay safe and hopefully see you all again very soon
Acting ChairmanLast modified on Monday 4th May 2020 at 14:09.