I wanted to follow up on the statement back in the middle of March, which now seems so long ago, to update members, supporters, sponsors and guests and outline where we are as a club.
The circumstances in which we find ourselves are unprecedented. The combined effects of the coronavirus outbreak and the consequential financial impact continues to be unpredictable, and for many clubs it may have long lasting, severe consequences. This simply has not happened before, in any of our lifetimes. There is no obvious way out of the mess in which we find ourselves. There isn’t a manual to read.
I fear that competitive sport at all levels will find itself way down the pecking order when it comes to a return to ‘normality’. Our function room and clubhouse are likely to be even further away from returning to unrestricted use to support our members, their guests and our wider local community.
As a club, we do however go into this uncertain future in a relatively strong position. For our club to survive, and then to thrive, it needs all of its parts to work together. This includes our officials and management committee, our players and coaching teams, our junior members and their wider families, and our sponsors need to work together. Never has the spirit of ‘My Club. Your Club. Our Club’ been more readily needed from us all.
I am delighted that all of those different groups of people are addressing their responsibilities for the good of the club. Many members are using their new-found spare time without cricket to volunteer their services with Hyndburn Hub, supporting our most vulnerable members of our local communities. This is something of which we are very proud.
Our government’s financial help has been welcome, and we are grateful to members for renewing their subscriptions, notwithstanding the prospect of limited or no cricket in 2020. If you have yet to do so, and can financially, please do renew your subscription as soon as you are able.
That said, the threat to our club, like many others, is very real. We have very limited means to guide us safely through. We cannot adequately protect visitors to our facilities, and have had to close them for the safety of our local communities.
We have been guided by the ECB, LCF, and the Lancashire League as well as Public Health England. We will ensure we continue to be so guided by a few key principles in the months ahead:
- The management committee are working tirelessly to manage the massive financial impact that this outbreak has imposed upon us. The sensible financial stewardship that the club has benefited from over the past decade leaves us well placed to weather this significant storm, when others sadly may not. It will not pose a threat to our existence, and we hope to come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
- The safety and well-being of all of our members, staff, volunteers and visitors remains our priority. We were ahead of the curve in taking action to protect the health of our community, by closing our facility to the public. We are aware that our facility, views and open spaces are magnets to people seeking fresh air and outdoor activities. We could not stand by and risk the health of any individual. Whilst may of our players expressed a desire to continue to use our facilities, we were conscious of not allowing any perceived short term gain to risk those individuals health and welfare.
- Your club benefits from a wonderful committee with a vast array of different skill sets which complement one another to the club’s significant advantage. They will continue to take decisions which will ensure that your club is in good shape when a return to cricket is permitted.
What we do need right now is some direction from central government and the cricket authorities to enable us to better plan for our future. But until that arrives, and into the future, we will need your help to get back on our feet.
There is no obvious way out of this. But so many of us have so much of ourselves invested in the club we love that we will make one. We will come out of the other side. Whatever is to happen, we will make it happen with the long-term future of our club in mind and the community it serves at its heart.
Thank you all for your support.