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Chairmans Note – May 2020

Chairmans Note – May 2020

Posted May 17, 2020

Currently we are under instructions from Croke Park that the grounds remain completely closed until July 20th. They have advised that they do not want to put the onus on club officers to police social distancing and we know that they will have given this decision much thought.

We fully understand the concerns, but the unanimous view of the executive is that we would like to open the Grounds to Members, under supervision by vetted volunteers and I have today written to Croke Park expressing this view.
Our volunteer programme lead by Danny Harrington continues to make a great contribution and have now made over 1,000 calls to the homes of those cocooning. As before, if you or anyone you know needs help please call our number on 087 343 9597.

On the playing front we are in the dark on future plans, but expect some clarity in the coming weeks. In the interim we continue to maintain the grounds primarily through the efforts of Eamon Cosgrove. Most pitches could do with some rain but all are seeing good growth and Pitch 1 which benefits from the well water is coming along nicely, it will be ready for our return to matches.

The financial impact of the shutdown on the club is very significant, we are fortunate that our level of debt is manageable and that we have such a dedicated and capable treasurer in Michal Hannon. In summary, our gross income for the calendar year is likely to be down by over €200k on what we had expected only 2 months ago. This includes, reductions in sponsorship, bar coffee shop and retail shop profits, rent from Tenants, external events, camps, golf classic, absence of fundraising, the Pitch 1 advertising project, reduction in club lotto income and unpaid Membership fees. It is offset by reductions in wage costs, referee fees, loan repayment breaks, and we hope registration and competition fees. At this stage we have no final clarity as to savings we will receive on affiliation, competition and insurance costs.

The current view is that our nett impact could be €130k however we are hopeful that things may improve later in the year. For example, we hope we might be able to run a golf classic in September.
From the Executives point of view, we have cancelled all planned expenditure which was not already committed to. You will recall in my February note I spoke of €90k expenditure this year and this is now likely to be capped at the circa €15k we have already spent giving a saving of €75k.
The overall result is an estimated shortfall of €55k and we are working on ways to improve this, please rest assured that the situation is under control and that we will work our way through it.

So how can you help?
Firstly, if your subscription is outstanding and you can afford to pay, please do so as soon as you can. Secondly, the club lotto drive is underway, please sign up, again if you can. Thirdly, if your business is in a position to do so, and you would like to follow through on previous sponsorship agreements or indeed offer new sponsorship please contact Andrew Rittweger. We will be looking at other ways to seek support from Members in the coming weeks.

Finally, can I ask our Members to support the club sponsors wherever possible. These companies and individuals have been very good to the club over the years, it would be great and very appropriate in these times that they see that support returned.

Cecil Ryan, Chairman
On behalf of the Executive

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