Although not much might seem to have happened in terms of the big picture over the last week, the club has actually managed to make progress on several fronts.
As mentioned last week, we have asked all of our staff (other than our academy section) to accept furlough status, which enables us to participate in the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which in turn will make a significant contribution to our wage bill. We would like to say a big thank you to Matt and the Management Team and every player whose response has been just terrific throughout this process,.
Other measures put in place by the government have allowed us to defer our payments due to HMRC and the VAT department and also forego this year's business rates demand.
We have just received the grant made available to small businesses by the Government, paid through the local authority, and this will help us to meet our liabilities in April. The Premier League has announced a significant sum to benefit clubs in the EFL and National League but this money is an advance of the solidarity money that would have been paid to clubs next season. It will certainly assist with cashflow.
We'd also like to thank our Supporters' Club, who have just made their annual end of season donation, a little over £4,000. This is very timely and we are very appreciative that they were still able to do this at this time.
We still have no clarity on how the 2019/20 season will be ended or when football may return and what plans there are for the 20/21 season. We have to accept that compared to the bigger issues all around us football's problems will have to wait their turn to be resolved.
Looking at lighter matters, some of the club's officials and SUFCtv crew held a sweepstake on last weekend's virtual Grand National and raised over £100 for the NHS.
We were also delighted to see Omar Bugiel's wonder strike at Woking on Boxing Day come top in the fun Vanarama World Cup of goals put in place by the league's main sponsors. Omar's was the only goal in the last four not to have been scored by a Notts County player so, having come through that round, he then faced a terrific battle in the final against a great banana shot by Richard Brindley, backed by County's enormous fan-base. It was therefore really pleasing to see Omar's goal finally crowned the winner by a small margin when over 5,000 votes were cast, testament to the way in which our supporters and communications team all pulled together to mobilise as many votes as they could. We all realise that the real aims of this fun competition were to distract people at this time of great confusion and uncertainty and to help bring people together in support of a common cause, and it certainly did just that. Well done Vanarama ! We understand that Omar will be receiving a small trophy in due course.
SUFCtv are now building up momentum with their live broadcasts, which are scheduled for 8.00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Any additional shows will be advertised in advance through the usual channels.
We continue to see a slow but steady stream of season ticket sales for 2020/21, for which we are really grateful, it is a great way in which our fans can support us through this period of uncertainty. Although our Early Bird sales period was set to end on 30th April, we do recognise that these are difficult times for many of our supporters, so are proposing to extend this period initially to 31st May and will keep this under review as events unfold around us.
Finally, if you normally go to football with someone or often stand with the same group of fans, have you thought about contacting them to see if they are ok ? It might be that they are fine but would just like someone to talk to.
How good it is that absolutely everyone at Sutton United is pulling together so strongly at this difficult time.
Stay Safe and please follow the Government's rules and guidelines on social distancing