Following an enquiry to how the league could help out clubs financially during the COVID-19 crisis, the league have issued a public response:
It is important to provide information about the Leagues financial position, so that every Club understands the situation. The League currently has liquid funds (money in the bank) of approx £20,000. This may be a lower number than some people understand, because it is after giving out interest free loans to several Clubs, with a net outstanding balance, still to be repaid by those Clubs over the next three years, of approx £20,000.
Furthermore the League is spending just under £20,000 with our partner Readers on match balls and scorebooks. As has already been announced these costs will not be distributed to Clubs for the time being to shield them from the costs and ease Club cash flow. Indeed payments already made by Clubs have been temporarily refunded.
With the support of League Officers, our Treasurer Andrew Hill recommends that in these very uncertain and unpredictable times, a cushion of £20k is retained so that the League is able to respond to any further unforeseen circumstances which may arise over the next months. Therefore the League has somewhat limited possibilities for providing significant or widespread support of 42 Clubs.
Nevertheless if any Club finds themselves in a position where they need to discuss their financial situation with the League all Clubs can be assured that the League will do everything it can to help and support. Clubs should direct their questions in the first instance to either General Secretary Normal Clee or Admin Secretary Mark Binns.
In the meantime the League has been working with the cricket and sporting authorities, and can advise Clubs to expect Sport England to shortly announce the opening of its Small Grants Programme to assist sports clubs such as ours with easing the financial pressures created by the Coronavirus emergency. This is likely to offer grants of up to £5,000 per organisation to help with a critical funding shortfall or keeping any Club going. The application process will be the same one as Sport England used to help Clubs that needed flood relief support over recent months. Sport England says that funds will be easily and quickly accessible.
The League continues to monitor the situation, and has in mind both the health, safety and wellbeing of Clubs and players, as well as the financial pressures that all organisations are facing right now. We will keep you informed of developments as they unfold.
You can read more about Sport England's response to the Coronavirus impact here.
Please read and understand carefully the advice issued by the NHS on avoiding the spread of COVID-19.