Published: 12:00, 20 March 2020
| Updated: 13:00, 20 March 2020
The rugby season has come to a premature end and for one of our clubs it could mean financial ruin.
Canterbury, who play in National League 1, say the cancelling of many of their end of season events could leave them facing bankruptcy.
The club have made a plea to members and supporters for a donation of £100, who whatever can be afforded, to help bridge the gap in the finances.
With the league finishing early, the club will be losing out on much needed funds generated from their home lunch, due to take place next Saturday, the sponsors’ lunch next month and their May Ball.
They also had to cancel the Canterbury City Lunch on Thursday and a message posted from their president, chairman and executive committee said: “This year, we face an unprecedented situation. With the arrival of coronavirus, we see all rugby stopped for the rest of the season and the cancellation of these fund-raising events. This has dire financial consequences for the Club and its very survival.
“The Executive Committee have met and considered all possible ways to mitigate the situation. We are cutting costs already wherever we can, but we will still be left with a gap at the end of the year that will cause the Club financial distress and facing bankruptcy.”
The RFU said in a statement that: “In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.
“When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.
“We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April.”
The RFU admit the coronavirus pandemic has hit their finances too, saying: “This was already budgeted to be a loss making year within a 4 year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games.
“The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country.”
Canterbury sit second bottom in the table. A paypal account has been set up to assist with donations.
Tonbridge Juddians, in National League 2 South, are second from top with five games remaining, just three points behind Taunton Titans.
Tunbridge Wells finish seventh in the London South East Premier and it means a fourth placed finish for Medway in London 1 South. Dartfordians finish second from bottom in the same division.
It’s a mid-table finish fro Gravesend in London 2 South East, just above Deal & Betteshanger.
Dover finish second bottom ahead of Maidstone, who can finally say goodbye to a miserable season.
Ashford finish top of the pile in London 3 South East with Folkestone in second, eight points behind after the final four games were cancelled.
Cranbrook take second place in Kent 1 behind Southwark Lancers while an exciting tussle at the top of Kent 2 has been brought to a premature end with two games to play.
Brockleians and Foots Cray take the top two positions ahead of the chasing pack, with Dartford Valley finishing just above Sittingbourne and Lordswood.