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Update from Pontypool RFC CEO, Ben Jeffreys

Saturday 30th May 2020
 

Good afternoon everyone,

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the patience you have demonstrated in recent weeks, as we continue to navigate Pontypool RFC through the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to be mindful that we have not been able to share much by way of an update, so I thought it would be good to provide this message in the hope of re-assuring you that the club remains in good hands.

I sense that some of you are becoming increasingly anxious about what our coaching staff and squad will look like when rugby resumes in the future, so I would like to take this opportunity to clarify matters as they currently stand.

You will have seen certain clubs announcing the signing of players who represented Pontypool RFC last season and with no announcements being made by us at this time, I understand how that may appear on the surface.

I would like to think we are very open and professional in how we communicate with you and I know it is not customary for us to hold off on making announcements, but I would kindly ask that you do not mistake this for a lack of development. We are most certainly working hard behind the scenes to plan for the future.

In terms of showing transparency, there are currently three reasons why we are not making announcements regarding rugby developments for the time being. These are as follows:

  • ·We want to show our respect and appreciation for the Welsh Government’s current guidance on managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not in any way want to give the impression that things will be returning to ‘normal’ any time soon by making a raft of announcements at a time when ‘lockdown’ measures remain of such high importance. Our first priority is ensuring our communities remain safe and well and we would urge all our supporters to continue to abide by current social distancing measures.
  • ·We currently have no firm understanding of when rugby will be given the green light to return to play. We do not want to apply any pressure to the Welsh Rugby Union by building excitement for next season whilst so much remains up in the air and things can change at any given moment. We have had regular discussions with the Welsh Rugby Union, so please rest assured that we are being kept aware of matters as they progress further and we are very grateful for this dialogue.
  • ·With there being so much uncertainty attached to next season, our primary focus has been ensuring we protect the best interests of the club in the short-term and also look after our staff in the best way possible. As I mentioned in a previous update, we have honoured all playing and staff contracts until the end of the 2019-2020 season and we have worked to eliminate any unnecessary expenditure as a result of the club’s income streams being effectively halted overnight. We have been combining this with planning for next season, which is why things have taken longer to finalise than is customary.

Please be assured that we have plenty of positive announcements to share with you in the near future, but they will be made at the appropriate time. You have my word that we have retained a large portion of our current squad and we have recruited strongly in key areas. We are in a very strong position and you have nothing to fear.

I do not anticipate that we will be in a position to make any announcements for at least the next couple of weeks, but I hope this update will ease any concerns you may have and I hope you trust in our ability to manage this situation.

I will provide you with a further update as soon as I’m able and I think you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Ben.

 

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