Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this email update – I hope you are enjoying the sunshine which we’ve had so far this Bank Holiday weekend, despite the limitations upon where you can go and what you can do. The current period is a tough for all of us but help is out there, for everyone associated with our Club in any way, in the form of our Chaplaincy team who are available if you need to talk – more details can be found here.
Myself and my fellow Board Members continue to work on matters relating to planning for reducing the impact of COVID-19 on the Club’s budget for the 2020-21 season. We have made a good amount of progress to date, however there is still a sizeable hole in the finances due to the loss of income towards the end of 2019-20. As we look to finalise the budget in the next couple of weeks, this is going to mean that there are some difficult decisions to make about where the Club can spend its money next year. If you’d like to do something to help AFC R&D, now is a great time to support one of the fantastic initiatives below:
Club2020 was launched this week giving you, either individually or as a small group, the unique opportunity to provide much needed support for the Club while also receiving some real value back in return, including season tickets, hospitality and more. This is a great opportunity for a small group of you, family or friends, or a small business, to take out membership of Club2020 by combining your donations and become patrons of the Club in this most difficult year.
The Team Building Lottery continues to be a great success for the Club. This week one lucky winner received over £500 meaning in just 2 monthly draws we have already paid out nearly £1000. The May Draw will include our first big Quarterly cash prize of over £1,400, as well as the usual Monthly cash prize plus 2 Cineworld Cinema tickets. It also means that so far £1,700 has been generated towards next season’s first team budget. If you’d like to join those of us who are taking part and supporting the budget, you can do so here.
The final designs are now almost confirmed for the Membership Vote for our Home and Away Shirts for the new season. One of the suggestions includes a supporter’s idea for raising extra revenue for the Club from the shirts, while offering a unique personalisation opportunity to fans. Keep an eye on the website for the launch of the vote to see the options.
Being (or becoming) a Member of AFC Rushden & Diamonds gives you access to vote on which shirt is chosen, as well as voting in the Elections for the Board in June and July if you are a member by 1st June. If you have already purchased or renewed your membership, thank you very much for doing so. If you want to either renew for 2020-2021 or to purchase membership for the first time, you can do so here. Adults can join for just £25 while under 16s get free entry to all home league games for £5 per year!
One good-news story which continues to surpass all expectations is the fundraising of Valencia-based fan, Mike Paul, who has raised an incredible £2,400 for the Club to date. You can follow his exploits @mikepaulvox on Twitter and via his GoFundMe page here.
The highly popular monthly Quiz night usually held at the Rushden Bowls Club by our fantastic fundraising team has moved online for the time being. The next quiz, hosted by the excellent Chris Hill, is this Thursday 14th May and costs just £3 per player, with the proceeds split between the Club and Cransley Hospice. Teams of up to 6 can play together, but many people will play individually or as couples. For the Zoom conference call details please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who bought their Season tickets before Sunday night as part of the early bird offer. Getting this revenue into the bank in a period where we have lots of ongoing costs really is a huge help and I can’t thank everyone who has bought a season ticket to date enough for their support.
If you have the time or spare cash to support AFC R&D further over the next couple of weeks, then it really is a crucial time as we need to have the finances in place to safely sign-off expenditure moving forward. Every single penny counts and will make a real difference to how strongly the Club bounces back from the current difficulties.
Also don’t forget it’s “Ask the Player” on Twitter again this Sunday at 2pm, this time with Nathan Hicks – @afcrd.
I’m looking forward to the time when I’m able to see you again at Hayden Road, but in the meantime please stay safe and follow the guidelines issued by the Government and Public Health England; updated daily and can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.