Letter from Owner Neil Hudgell to Hull KR members

15
May
Category: The Club

Letter from Owner Neil Hudgell to Hull KR members

15th May 2020

Dear member,

I hope you and your family are well and continue to stay safe.

Apologies I haven’t given you further updates sooner, however until the Government announced their road map, and the Super League issued a wider statement on the resumption of the game, we could not offer much additional comment.

In terms of latest club updates, I can confirm the below:

–           All players and staff have agreed to take pay cuts to help keep the club financially afloat. Everyone responded unanimously to help us through, which is testament to how much our players and staff love this club. I don’t underestimate the impact this will be having on their personal finances.

–           The Little Mix and Westlife concerts have been cancelled whilst Tom Jones has been postponed until 2021. This provides an additional blow to the club’s cash flow which we are looking to navigate through.

–           The RFL have received a Government loan of £16 million. Whilst this is good news in one respect, it merely ‘kicks the can down the road’ in terms of delaying cash flow issues. The loan cannot be used to pay wages and is there for those clubs who need it to survive. Dialogue continues with the RFL on this matter as at this stage we do not know to what extent we will benefit.

–           Government guidance – whilst sport behind closed doors have the provisional ‘green light’ from June. We do not anticipate we will play any games until July onwards whilst the detail of making our sport ‘COVID-secure’ is worked through. The safety of our players, staff, officials and any guests that would need to enter the stadium to fulfil a fixture remains paramount. We are though determined to be safely back playing before crowds as soon as we practically can be doing.

I write to you ahead of a critical junction in the clubs long and illustrious history. Today, next week or even next month is not the immediate concern for the club.

I am confident that with the furlough scheme, Government grants and loans, pay cuts for all staff and players, SKY / Super League / RFL and your support we can navigate through financially until the end of the season.  If any of those factors are compromised though the picture will change.

What is more unclear is how this will impact on 2021 and what the club will look like at that time. Once the immediate Government schemes end, bills need to be paid and possible refunds on membership, tickets, hospitality and sponsorship need issuing, we enter uncharted territory. The strength of the club in 2021 will be determined by all of our actions in 2020.

To assist with our planning, we need to understand the financial commitments our supporters are able to make.

We are so grateful to the many supporters who have contacted us to say they intend to pay for their 2020 membership in full whatever happens. Equally we understand some fans may not be able to afford to do that.

We intend to enter a period of consultation with our valued members to understand more about how they would like the club to respond to the current situation, and what options they would like us to offer. A survey will be emailed to you by the end of the month.

Following the survey, we will use your insight and suggestions to publish our response along with a suite of options for 2020 members to opt in / out of. We anticipate this will be mid-June.

What is crucial, for now, is that as many of you as possible keep your memberships running during May whilst this consultation takes place. The more time we have to understand the ramifications of the current crisis, without additional short-term financial pressure, the more comprehensive solutions we will be able to offer to cover any scenarios where games are played behind closed doors.

If you are suffering with financial difficulties then as before, please contact us at membership@hullkr.co.uk and we will do everything we can to support you.

Thank you for your continued and valued support at this difficult time.

Neil Hudgell

2020 members who do not receive emails can register by emailing membership@hullkr.co.uk

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