THE SCOTTISH RUGBY UNION has set up a £500,000 Club Hardship Fund (CHF) which will offer financial assistance to grassroots clubs facing cashflow and immediate financial challenges through the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
A statement by the governing body explained:
Designed to help clubs through the period of uncertainty created by the Coronavirus outbreak, the CHF would release funds to support identified financial issues caused by a lack of fixtures or pressures on other revenue streams.
With a lack of fixtures and reduction on public gatherings clubs may struggle for cash-flow and Scottish Rugby wishes to help and support them.
In addition to the £500K Club Hardship Fund, Scottish Rugby is also accelerating its collective club support payments by a month, to April from May, which will in itself exceed £500,000 in funding to ease the financial burden.
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson explained that the fund was set up in response to Friday’s decision to suspend all games and training in Scotland from 6pm tonight [Sunday] until after the 29th March.
“These are unprecedented times and we are acutely aware of the significant day to day financial challenges our member clubs will face in the coming weeks if fixtures cannot be resumed in the mid to long term and other planned fund-raising initiatives are curtailed,” he said.
“We are creating the £500K Club Hardship Fund to provide clubs with the reassurance there is financial assistance available to the dedicated volunteers and staff who deliver our game in their local communities.
“It is important we act now and provide tangible, practical support during these unsettling times.
“I also want to offer, on behalf of everyone at Scottish Rugby, our very best wishes to everyone across the country at this extremely difficult time.”
Clubs will be invited to apply to the CHF by completing and returning a CHF claim application, which will be posted on the Sottish Rugby website later this week and contain details of the necessary criteria. Scottish Rugby will look to release funds in a timely manner as appropriate.
The full criteria for CHF applications will be shared with all rugby clubs in Scotland through Scottish Rugby’s own club communication channels in the coming week.
The statement also explained that work will also go into helping clubs apply for wider business support after Scottish Government announced a £320m fund for businesses affected.