As members will be aware the Club is having to suspend its sporting and commercial activities due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Besides physically closing and securing the Clubhouse it has been necessary to place the majority of the Club’s employees on furlough.
Members’ subscriptions are due for renewal at various dates over the next few months. We have taken the decision that current memberships will extend until such time as we can start operating again. Annual memberships will then commence from the 1st of the month in which we recommence and those paying by Direct Debit will be notified in advance.
The Club is exploring ways in which it might help its members and the wider Community. We have been asked by Preston City Council to encourage members to volunteer and an appropriate link will be posted. We would also encourage you to remain in contact by telephone, social media or whatever means are available and allowed with each other and offer mutual support. Those of you who tweet or read the bottom of the website may have seen the Hoppers Isolation Challenge which you might want to join.
Even with the mitigation measures we have put in place this will have a severe impact on the Club’s finances. While the Club does not face an existential threat even if the crisis extends into next season it does mean that the weekly drain on the Club’s cash from a lack of bar, hospitality and function revenue will have to be met from cash reserves. Most of the lost revenue will not be made up although we are working on plans to move as many major events as possible to later in the year, so some revenue will be made up.
Those cash reserves were identified for the development of the clubhouse but in the present circumstances we cannot commit to the major project to extend the Wainwright Bar.
However, it is intended if possible to take advantage of the suspension of activities to improve the facilities in the Dooley Suite and relocate the Club’s offices. The work in the Dooley will comprise:
- Installing an acoustic moveable partition running from the stud wall which divides the main bar and the “glass collection” bar to the windows overlooking the paved area between clubhouse and pitch.
- Installing an additional door onto the paved area at the North West Corner of the Dooley.
- Generally improve the décor.
This will allow us greater flexibility in the use of the Dooley with the approximately two thirds space at the Wiseman Room end suitable for the majority of conference and event users. The one third nearest the kitchen can then be available to AGP and other pitch users even while an event is on in the main part of the Dooley. The “glass collection” bar will be available to serve drinks from and food can be served as at present from the hatch.
The idea behind the additional door is to improve circulation between pitch and clubhouse not only on match days but when we have major events with marquees on the paved area.
We have not given up on developing the Wainwright Bar/Ladies Toilets but realistically cannot commit to how far and how they will be developed until the current Covid-19 crisis is past and we can assess how far our finances will stretch.
Finally while it is impossible to predict when the Club will be able to relaunch and what the impact of the Covid-19 crisis will be on our ongoing trade rest assured we will be back and will endeavour to relaunch with a “bang” so members can enjoy the Club once again.