Lockdown came abruptly and aggressively tearing through the rugby fixtures and the cancellation of our three home fixtures made a massive impact on the financial position of the club as a hole but most importantly the financial budget that we had promised and delivered to The Titans for their hugely successful campaign through season 2019/2020, likewise the damage to the commercial operation that funds so much of the Rugby at your club was huge with every spring and summer conference, training meeting, party and other celebrations all cancelled like so many businesses across the country the future looked bleak.
As a committee we moved quickly, James Tolman and myself built an emergency plan within two days and closed the club, furloughed the staff and players made contact with both our creditors and debtors and effectively wrapped the club up until such time as we could re-open properly.James applied successfully for the grants available to business from Taunton and Somerset West and by careful financial management I am both pleased and proud that we have come through the storm with the Club in excellent shape and ready to move forward to the new season. We explored alternative uses for the club building including overflow hospital facilities or even for use as a temporary school anything in fact that would keep some income coming into the club.
We intend to bring back key staff from furlough on the 1st July with the expectation that we will be making contact with Sponsors and supporters and giving them the incredible news that Taunton Titans will be starting their 2020/2021 campaign promoted to National One, a fantastic achievement by Tony Yapp, Chris Brown coaching team and the squad and well deserved for thestaggering effort that has been made to get to this point. Having met with Tony and Chris during the lockdown (socially distant of course!!) the passion and determination of both of them and the squad was truly humbling as Chairman, the coaches have truly created a squad built on pride for the shirt and the values of Rugby and we of course wish them massive success for the season.
With regards to all other Rugby at Taunton we are waiting for the RFU to give us confirmation when everything will return to some degree of normality, I understand that Youth Rugby may be delayed until well into the traditional season but any news that is forthcoming will be cascaded out via the website and social media.
July, historically is the month for Taunton RFC’s Annual General Meeting at which we would be presenting audited accounts for the previous completed financial year along with the traditional voting of Officers and Committee members, as I am sure you are aware this is currently impossible under the current Covid 19 restrictions, however the accounts are both complete and audited and can be made available in either hard copy or digitally for any current member who may want them please do email me and I will get them sent on firstname.lastname@example.org . TheAGM will happen when it is both safe and practical to do so until that time all Committee members and Officers are fully committed to working on your behalf tokeep this great club moving forwards in a truly positive direction.
The lockdown period has been a unique, scary and uncertaintime for all of us and your club has likewise felt the pressure of what the future may or may not bring, I want to extend a personal thanks to members whohave made payments to us for next years membership despite not knowing when the season may start, to the ground staff who have continued to work on getting our amazing facility ready for the new season, to the 200 club who donated a massive £7500 into the club coffers to help keep everything going, to James Tolman who has kept working through this time (and stood alongside me as we waved the Travellers out of our club) and to everyone who makes Taunton RFC a very special place to be and be part of.
TRFC Chairman 2019/2020