Burntwood RUFC

Rugby chiefs say they have moved quickly to support clubs in Lichfield and Burntwood during the coronavirus crisis .

Like other businesses across the country, sporting groups have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Clubs have been unable to earn an income through either match day revenue or hosting functions in clubhouses.

And with a decision in March to cut short the grassroots season, the picture continues to look bleak.

But county association Staffordshire Rugby Union (SRU) says it has been committed to helping its members through the crisis.

“We may be living through unprecedented and uncertain times, but SRU has acted decisively to support its rugby clubs.

“It is one of the first county rugby organisations in the country to provide a cash injection directly to its member clubs, including Burntwood and Lichfield, to help them cope with immediate financial issues caused by the abrupt end to season.

“When the RFU confirmed that the season was over for grassroots community rugby, a package of measures was drawn up to offer financial assistance.

“Each season the RFU provides funding to counties to carry out an agreed plan of action to promote the sport of rugby in all its facets – even though the final quarter of the season was lost, the RFU honoured its final payment to counties for use as a support fund.

“The SRU used this funding, as well as dipping into its own reserves, to create a five figure sum available to clubs according to need.”

Staffordshire Rugby Union spokesperson

The SRU said many clubs have also taken their own steps to try to mitigate the financial impact.

It has also been confirmed that affiliation fees for 2020-21 would be waived following a decision taken at by the county association.

But the organisation’s president John Atkin told a meeting of the county’s management team that further support could still be needed to help keep clubs afloat.

“With the restart date for rugby unknown, John explained that further financial help could be available nearer to the intended start of next season in September.

“He added any clubs suffering particular hardship should contact him directly.”

Staffordshire Rugby Union spokesperson

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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