Newhaven Football Club Chairman Martin Garry has issued the following update, regarding the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how it effects the club.

I hope all of you and your families are coping well, and you are staying safe and supporting those in need around you. We are in difficult times at the moment, that is for sure, and it is driving unusual behaviour that is impacting all of us in our daily lives.

COVID-19
It has finally got hold of all sport and we are now at the stage where we don’t know when we will be back in action, whether that is three months, six months or even longer. This will be very worrying and a stressful time for everybody who have their own small businesses to remain solvent through these difficult times. Our club is no different to any other business with lease, rates and utility bills to pay, which is very difficult when you have no revenue opportunities.

Your club
To survive it is going to need the support of everyone to play their part, no matter how small. We have over 320 players at the club, and a further 51 in officers, managers and coaches, who can make a difference to ensure this club, that has been in existence for over 133 years remains around for the next 100 years as well. This club is a very big part of the community and is key to the future of not only sport development but growing the community through working with other key stake holders in the town. There will be some clubs that will not be in business as we come through this and it is not my intention to allow our club to be one of them. I will be required, during this period of time, to meet the financial commitments mentioned above so could do do with some support with the initiatives below.

Direct Debits
There have been some questions raised that as there is no football or training, then the direct debits should stop. There appears to be a perception that this is what the direct debits are paid for, which is not correct. These debits support costs for pitch hire, coaches training, team and player registrations, insurances, equipment and the list goes on. I would ask at this time that, if possible, these payments are continued which will support the club financially. In return, I will offer a reduction for signing on fee for the new season 2020/21 (whenever that may be). I appreciate that will be your call, but I am looking for your support with this. We will review at the start of next season so we can offer reduced rates to those that have supported the club.

50-50 Club
This has been a struggle to keep up with over recent weeks and months as we have struggled to get matches on due to the bad weather and now the Coronavirus. We are behind on February’s draw, so the plan will be to make this draw on Saturday 21st March and thereafter it will be the last Saturday of the month. These will done in the presence of three committee members and published on the chat forums and the club website within 24 hours of the draw being made until we are back in the club. We have had to adjust the winnings available as the members have dropped down to 86 numbers, which means a monthly pay out of £216 – slightly less than previously. The prizes will be 1st) £90, 2nd) £65, 3rd) £40, 4th £21. If any of you would like to join then please let me or Stuart Still know and we can provide you with a number and you will be supporting the club.

Club House Availability
We will still be available, unless of course we go on complete lock down. We have a number of parties booked over the next three months, along with team gatherings and bonding sessions, so please contact myself or Barry Winser if you would like to book a event for whatever reason.

Fundraising Page
There is currently one being pulled together to go out on social media. Can I please ask that we all get behind it and share on whatever social media groups and chat forums you use, to drive awareness of our plight and need for funds to get us through.

Ground Repairs
While there is no football to enjoy at present I am proposing that we start getting together on a Saturday afternoon and start working on the pitch and decorating/repairs that need doing. I am sure we can work a metre apart and start working on the long list of repairs that are outstanding and get our pitch and buildings in to a good position.

Summary
Can I please ask that we all get behind this and support the club as we would not be a club without its great members. We are in difficult times financially at present, and its going to need all of us to pull together to get us through this. We owe it to the town, its community and all of those players and families who rely on us – from Mini Dockers to the walking football teams – who we provide a healthy environment of fun and activity for them all through great managers and coaches alike.

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