Ponty Rugby Covid-19 status update
Ponty Rugby CEO Stephen Reardon offers an update on the club’s status during the Covid-19 pandemic…
Superlatives are sometimes misused, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary when the occasion referenced often does not warrant it. However, periodically, a situation or event occurs where the extent of its impact has not been experienced for a generation or more.
The United Kingdom has experienced influenza pandemics such as those that visited in 1957 and 2009, but you have to regress to 1918 to encounter a pandemic that has had a greater impact than the coronavirus Covid-19. This has yielded the highest death toll for a pandemic in the UK since the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) described the economic crisis precipitated across the globe by Covid-19 as the worst since the depression of the 1930’s. This is reflected in the UK Government’s quarterly borrowing of £127 billion for the period between April and June 2020 which is the highest on record.
As in many other communities, the health and well-being of some members of the Pontypridd RFC Community has been affected by Covid-19. Where this is the case, Pontypridd RFC extends its best wishes to those who have been affected and extends its sincerest condolences to those who have suffered bereavement through the loss of a family member or other loved one.
Again, like other organisations, Covid-19 has impacted significantly upon Pontypridd RFC. Consequently, all activity remains suspended currently and although it is the intention to return to operational status, this can only be achieved when circumstances allow.
Proposed relaxations to the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 Restrictions Regulations of March 2020 will allow licensed premises to sell alcohol indoors from 3rd August 2020. Currently, there are no plans to re-open the bars at Pontypridd RFC from this date as, without the guarantee of the substantive footfall generated from a succession of home rugby fixtures or, from a substantive and continuous succession of well-attended events in the Clubhouse, past experience has demonstrated the opening of the bars on an ad hoc basis, to be non-profitable and indeed a cost to the business. However, the situation will be kept under review.
The WRU has been in regular communication with its member clubs since the suspension of activity associated with the playing of rugby football in Wales in the second week of March 2020. The Governing Body has initiated, recently, a programme for a phased return to rugby. However, with dates yet to be confirmed by the Welsh Government which would allow for a return to contact training and to competition, the Club has neither dates nor fixtures to sell, either to our members and season ticket holders or to our sponsors and business partners. Without any competition structure, we have nothing to gauge season ticket and admission prices. As far as our business partners and sponsors are concerned, many of them are still assessing the impact of the pandemic upon their core businesses. Funding next season will be a challenge, however the situation is under review constantly. When it allows for the prospect of playing competitive rugby football, the Club will approach business partners, sponsors, season ticket holders, members and share-holders accordingly. In the meantime, keep the faith, tried, tested and true.