- Published: Wednesday, 01 April 2020 12:20
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
As Coronavirus continues to shape our day to day lives in unimaginable ways, I wanted to give all our fans and supporters an update on how this is affecting Montrose FC and the actions we are taking to protect our beloved Club.
Let me first start by sincerely thanking again all those who have offered support, much of it unprompted, at this very difficult time. It is very much appreciated and humbling given that COVID-19 is affecting each and every one of us and I will come back to this in more detail later.
Using video conferencing, the Board of Directors have been meeting on a regular basis over the past 2 weeks to remodel the finances of the Club over the coming months given the sudden and unexpected loss of the majority of our revenue streams.
I appreciate that to many, we may appear to be a Club in a strong financial position, having enjoyed great success in recent years since the arrival of Manager Stewart Petrie.
However, playing at a higher level and being a progressive, ambitious Club goes hand in hand with higher costs, which we normally manage well thanks to our incredible fan base, hard working commercial team and fantastic corporate sponsors.
Unfortunately, this does not mean we have the ability to continue to support our regular monthly outgoings with virtually no income.
In order to protect the Club in the long term, we have therefore reluctantly decided to close the stadium down temporarily and place all our staff, management and players on the governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the next 3 months.
This effectively means that, whilst no work will be undertaken by anyone in relation to the Club, everyone will remain an employee whilst furloughed on the Government scheme, thus putting us in the strongest possible position for when the current restrictions are lifted and we are able to recommence playing and generating income.
This has not been an easy decision to take, but like many other businesses and clubs, we feel this is the best solution, avoiding the need for any redundancies and ensuring we come out of this situation in as strong a position as we can.
With wages not our only outgoings, and money from the government scheme not expected for a number of weeks, we are extremely thankful and encouraged by all those who have come forward offering support and donations.
Our Supporters Club immediately donated £1,000 and our fans have recently launched a Just Giving page, all part of a rapidly developing plan they are calling ‘Whatever it Takes!’.
In addition, many supported our #GiftTheGame initiative, buying their ticket for our scheduled game against Forfar online and we have had new requests for share purchases and membership to our Club 500 lottery.
All this confirms to me just how close-knit a group we are, and at a time where personal financial circumstances are uncertain, the strength of feeling and commitment to your local football club is unrelenting.
Football plays a vital role in society, acting as a social bond, a relief from life pressures, a source of enjoyment and just simply putting a smile on peoples faces.
Let’s hope we can put football back to work very, very soon at Links Park, but for now can I thank you all once more, from the bottom of my heart for your continued support and urge you to heed government advice, looking after each other, staying at home and staying safe.