Distribution: Friday 27 March 2020
 
 
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
On Wednesday we announced actions that will provide immediate support for community clubs, click here to read the announcement. We can now provide further information.

We will communicate more information as it becomes available in our regular Coronavirus (Covid-19) Community Game Updates.
 
 
RFU financial support for clubs
CB PFR funding converted to CB managed Immediate Support Funds

The RFU provides funding to Geographic Constituent Bodies (CBs) to support the delivery of a planned programme of work in the community. Despite there currently being no rugby activity, the RFU will still make the final payment due (which totals c.£600k across the country) for this season, on condition that CBs use this to set up and run an Immediate Support Fund to provide grants to clubs in financial difficulty. An additional £400,000 for the Immediate Support Fund will be available (allocated proportionally across geographic CBs) on the basis that CBs match the additional funding from their reserves. In addition, CBs are free to use any underspend from Q1-Q3 for this fund.

Geographic CBs will be written to separately on Monday 30 March with details of how to access the additional funding, together with guidance and criteria for setting up the fund. CBs will then be able to communicate directly with their clubs on how to access the fund.

Supplemental ticket pot

The supplemental ticket pot usually paid to clubs in June of each year will be brought forward. It is our intention to have these funds in clubs’ bank accounts by the end of next week.

RFU loans

Any club in receipt of an RFU or RFF loan will have their next quarterly loan repayment (April) suspended.

Small loans scheme

A fund of up to £5 million will be available to provide loans to clubs of between £2,000 and £10,000. The aim is to support clubs in the immediate and short term (next few months) to meet major outstanding costs. These loans will be interest-free, repayable over a period of up to three years, with an opportunity to defer the first payment for up to six months. There will be an online process and we aim to have further information on our website by the end of next week.

 
 
 
Government relief packages
Following the announcement by the Chancellor last Friday, opportunities exist to support clubs, as small businesses. These include:

Business Rate Holiday and Government Grants

All clubs who pay business rates will be eligible for a Business Rate Holiday and should be eligible for a direct government grant.

Job Retention scheme, HMRC Time to Pay scheme and the VAT Deferral

Any clubs employing staff through PAYE may be able to benefit through the Job Retention scheme and the HMRC Time to Pay scheme. In addition, clubs may be able to benefit from a VAT Deferral.

We have produced a tailored guide for rugby clubs regarding the government support, which is available here.

We will update this guide as more information and/or other schemes are introduced.
 
 
Clubs doing great things
We are pleased to see that many clubs are supporting their local communities. Click here to read some of the inspirational stories.

Other clubs have been initiating fund raising activities to protect and support their financial position - read more here.

Please email VeeMontebello@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@RFU.com to let us know about your club’s activities.

Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted by the difficult and exceptional situation we are all facing, both across the country and within our own rugby union community. Please let us know if there is any other support you would like us to offer.
 
 
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