2020-21 Season Membership Open

Good afternoon all

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer. As you will have read in our weekly Newsletters, we have been busy tentatively taking steps to open up the rugby club, as permissible and safe, for both rugby and social activity.

You may have also seen that England Rugby have now moved to Stage C in the Return To Rugby Roadmap (https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/return-to-rugby-community-update) which allows us to move forward with non-contact training.

Clubs across the country are now working towards a full season commencing on the 6th of September. Whilst we don’t believe it will be a “normal” season as it may be slow to evolve back into full contact and may be interrupted, we are confident that we will be able to deliver rugby across the board for the next season. The Rugby Leadership group have been tasked with ensuring that we are ready to go with a full program of rugby activity (as permitted) for the new season.

Based on the above rationale, we have opened the membership system and request members to start the process of renewing their membership for the next season. Full details and instructions are on our website at https://chobhamrugby.co.uk/join-support/

After much consideration, the Management Committee have concluded that we should hold subs at last season’s rates.

We took the following into consideration

  • The RFU have released fixtures for senior rugby for next season.
  • The RFU are in the process of delivering fixtures for Junior and Women’s Rugby
  • We are being encouraged to arrange some preseason friendly fixtures (after Sept)
  • The RFU have suggested that the season may be extended to accommodate postponed fixtures in case of further COVID complications.

The uncertainty around the makeup and length of the season makes it a major challenge for the club attempting to understand the financial impact. We have managed our financial position over the closed season taking advantage of every tool and grant we were able to apply for, but we have taken a significant “hit” to our income due to the cancellation of some major summer hires. As we open up, we will start to incur significant costs. We have not reached out to the membership for donations or set up just giving accounts as we are mindful of our members circumstances and didn’t feel it appropriate to build up a reserve “just in case”. The downside to this approach is that in these uncertain times we cannot accurately understand our exposure to reduced sponsorship and bar/kitchen revenue. We do however feel that we can offer a season of rugby and reasonably ask for membership fees. I will add the caveat that if the season is a complete write off (highly unlikely) we will of course look to find a way to compensate.

As an additional enhancement to membership this season, we will also be distributing smart membership cards that will have the functionality to enable members to preload cash for cashless payments and receive offers such as member discounts at the bar. More details will be released later as we get the technology up and running.

If you are an existing member, you should have received an email from membership over the last couple of days (if you did not receive this and are an existing member please check your spam folder and email membership@chobham-rugby.co.uk if you have not received it)

Finally, a huge thank you to all of you that support your wonderful club and I am looking forward to a new challenging season that with patience and teamwork we can thoroughly enjoy.

I hope that you get signed up as soon as possible and we can all steer the club through these strange times and look forward to seeing you all on a Saturday and Sunday in the very near future.

Mark Fisher
Chairman, Chobham Rugby

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