Thursday 7th January 2021
Following the government announcement on Monday evening (4 January) and formal notification from the Football Association, Royal Wootton Bassett Town have suspended all football activities until further notice. This includes matches, training and community football programmes and covers all sections of the club.
While this decision is, of course, disappointing, from a public health standpoint it is correct – and it is necessary that the club and all of its members stay safe and adhere to government guidance over the coming weeks.
As a club, we have worked hard to offer some form of football as we entered into the previous tier system. Our thanks go to our volunteers who helped make this possible. However, under the new rules, this will not be able to continue.
What is a little worrying is that no end date has been given for this latest lockdown, other than an indication that this could be in early spring. Given this, we have a feeling that it will be almost impossible for our teams to fulfil their remaining league fixtures unless there is a significant extension to the 2020-21 season. This will possibly mean that two seasons in a row will not be played to completion. We do know that the FA and the leagues of which the club is a member are looking at the available options right now, and we wait to hear what proposals they put forward.
Taking all this into account and the fact we also anticipate that this lockdown will be extended at least through to March, we therefore invite members to suspend their direct debit membership payments, if they so wish.
Should youth section members wish to suspend these payments, we politely request that they inform their team's manager and Head of Youth Section Mari Green (email@example.com) of this decision via email. Veterans section members wishing to suspend their payments should notify Head of Veterans Section Martin Ohrland (firstname.lastname@example.org) of their decision. This is so the club can keep track of this in readiness for our eventual return to action.
We wish to stress that ALL memberships will be retained and not lost.
We have communicated in earlier lockdown periods that the Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association (of which the Football Club is a constituent member) requires around £5,500 per month in order to cover costs even when the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground facility is closed – as will unfortunately be the case for the foreseeable future. Given these costs, the Football Club will continue to pay rental fees to the Sports Association to help ensure its ongoing financial viability. This is critical in the coming months for the future of the both the Sports Association and our Football Club.
Finally, I would again like to reiterate how appreciative the Club is for the continued support it has received from its members since the onset of the pandemic. The past year has been an incredibly challenging and frustrating one – and no doubt the coming months will be equally tough.
However, once the club has received notification of a date on which football activities can resume, we will communicate the return process and any further Covid-19 controls that may be required to members.
In the meantime, please do ensure that you and your families continue to keep safe – and we hope to see you again soon.
Yours in sport,
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club Chairman