08:00AM, Friday 01 May 2020
Maidenhead RFC have been forced to tighten their belts in recent months thanks to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, however, chairman Steve Bough says money set aside in recent years should help them navigate this tricky period.
This season was brought to a halt in March and the Rugby Football Uninon (RFU) moved quickly to cancel the season and calculate promotions and relegations from all leagues – outside the Gallagher Premiership – using ‘a best playing record formula’.
It means clubs up and down the land are now just waiting to see when restrictions might be lifted so players can return to training and then start playing matches again. With social distancing measures likely to remain in place for many weeks or months to come, some have speculated whether we’ll see sport being played at Maidenhead RFC’s level again this year.
Maids will switch to the London Premier League next season, which has generated much excitement inside the club, however, when they’ll get to face off against those new clubs is anyone’s guess.
“We’re due to start playing again in September,” said Maids’ chairman Steve Bough. “We’ve put plans in place but we can’t pre-guess what situation we’re going to be in in June, July, August.
“Hopefully we’ll be out of it to some degree by then.
“We’re in a good place. We’ve been making money every year for the last six or seven years and have been putting funds aside for rainy days like this. I think we’re not far off where I thought we’d be in terms of an initial loss of income. It’s taken us to £20,000 in the red, rather than being in profit and we still don’t know how quickly people, players, and games are going to come back in the short term. We’re ok now, but we’re not sure how quickly we’ll be able to start generating income going forward.
“We’ve had some successes with grant money which has placated some of the losses, so financially we’re in a good place. We’re not going to go bust. We’ll have to pull our belts in a bit, and the refurbishment plans that we had are not going to happen this year, but we’re ok.”
He added: “To be honest we just have to take advice from the RFU. Financially they brought the leagues to a close very quickly. We felt we could have made the play-offs this year but they did things very quickly and the government are quite clear about where we are at the moment.
“We can’t pre-guess what will happen, but as soon as we can we’ll be back up and running.”
Bough confirmed the club was still working through plans to keep their talismanic captain, Myke Parrott, involved with a new role at the club.
Parrott released a statement last month confirming his intention to retire from the game, saying his body was telling him it was time to step back.
However, Parrott – who has also established a new players’ agency called Braywick Talent – is keen to remain involved and believes he can help drive Maids forward off the field.
“We’re moving forward on that,” said Bough.
“We haven’t fine tuned the exact role Myke is going to take. It will obviously be involved in the senior squad, but he’s also got a good affinity with the junior players.
“He’s keen to bridge that gap, which he does now to be honest. A lot of coaches and players go in on a Sunday to help with the juniors and he instigates that. We’re just fine tuning what his role is going to be.
“When we know exactly what that is and Myke’s happy, and the club’s happy, we’ll let everyone know.”
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