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1/7/20: To the members of SRFC...

Friday 31 July, 2020, by Mark Lidstone

To the Members of SRFC

On behalf of the Board of SRFC - Mark Lidstone, Roger Clark, Jamie Laban, Martin Gautier, Mark Parnowski, John Sprague, Brian Cooper and James Cooper, I would like to issue the following statement and clarify the club’s position on recent developments. Apologies for not posting sooner.
As you may be aware, we have had to make the Bar Manager Luke Cole redundant. This decision was not made lightly and following a Board meeting, it was the unanimous decision of all eight Board members. The Board would like to thank Luke for all he has done during his time as the Bar Manager and we wish him and his family, all the best for the future.

With the effects of Coronavirus (Covid 19) and the uncertain future it holds, it is only correct as a business that we examine our business model, including fixed costs, staff salaries and future income streams and re-evaluate, so as to maintain its sustainability, for not just now but for future years and generations to come.

Following our findings, it is apparent that our current business model is not sustainable and with the loss of income in the current financial year from Easter (our biggest revenue stream for the year), The Beer Festival, NatWest Working Party Day, St Austell Brewery Retro Payment, The Beauty Lounge rent which has gone permanently (this has happened as result of the Council not renewing our lease and taking back ownership of the building) and the potentially loss of the Boxing Day revenue (this will be subject to rugby being played and the fixture being allowed to take place).

Also, until rugby is played again and the RFU have announced that we can ‘return to play’ we will not have any income from the Pitch Side Advertising Boards and Programme Sponsorship.  

Therefore, the Board will pull together as a collective and prepare for the future running of the club, for when we look to the open the doors again in the near future, albeit in a reduced, sustainable capacity.

The bar will continue to be operated by employed bar staff but the day to day running of the club will be overseen by the Board on a voluntary basis. We are therefore very fortunate to have three members of the Board who have bar industry experience and will be able to oversee the smooth running of the bar.

We have also put together a team of people who are currently looking into the necessary risk assessments and procedures that we will need to have to adhere to before we even consider reopening. This is a none negotiable, as it is of the utmost importance that the safety and well being of our staff, members and guests, that they feel it is a safe environment to bring their families. The RFU have now issued guidelines to reopening rugby clubs and these will assist us in our future preparation and planning.

At the Board meeting, it was agreed that we do not rush into this, as we want to see how other rugby clubs and pubs adapt their business models.

To this end, we are initially looking to open in a reduced capacity on a Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday (times of opening to be confirmed). Once we have established how successful these opening hours are, we will be able to re-evaluate the viability of the business. Further details regarding opening, will be posted on the club webpage.

One of the biggest fears is, as we gear up to open, get all the beers in ready and we get a potential second or regionalised spike, like the one that has happened recently in Leicester (which could well happen once the West Country opens its doors this weekend) we could well get shut down before we start.

Once we have any further news to report, we will keep you informed via the club website.

On behalf of the Board of Salcombe RFC I would sincerely like to thank all our members for their patience and understanding, in what are truly most unprecedented times. We will come through this difficult time and come out the other side a strong club for it.

I would appeal to our membership that we all pull together through these trying and challenging times and that we work together to make this happen. Fighting on social media does nothing more than to cause unnecessary disaccord. We would therefore ask for your support and understanding at this time.

In the very poignant words of H. G. Wells ‘Adapt or Perish’.

Mark Lidstone – Chairman SRFC

On Behalf of the Board of Salcombe RFC