The board of directors of Sutton United FC Ltd held a very useful and positive virtual meeting yesterday evening and will be holding such meetings as frequently as is required for the duration of this emergency. It was a very constructive meeting and I was impressed by the way the board members each used the knowledge and skills from their different professional backgrounds to help make sense of the current situation and assess our best courses of action. I can assure everyone that we have a united and committed board and we are all pulling in the same direction.
Firstly, we would just like to thank all of our supporters for their messages of support and also the suggestions that have been proposed via the fans' forum or by direct email. Please keep them coming, we do consider everything that we see and we know that we are all seeking the same positive outcomes.
All of the clubs in the National League have received a questionnaire to complete this week, so that a coordinated response can be put to the Football Association and Government in relation to the economic and practical implications of the emergency on football clubs at our level.
The restrictions announced by the Government have effectively shut the club down, affecting three of our main revenue streams: gate income, pitch hire and the social club, so we were pleased to see the Chancellor propose some measures to Parliament for mitigating the severe financial impacts on businesses in the hospitality and entertainment industries, and more widely, but it will be a few days before we fully understand how these may apply to us and how best to take advantage of any dispensations or support that might be available. Our academy is able to utilise online systems to continue to deliver lessons to our students but Matt Gray has suspended first team training and will review this on a weekly basis.
There is no doubt that this unique situation will prove very difficult for every football club. We are under no illusions about the scale of the challenges that we face and the ever-changing landscape introduces a number of variables that are outside of our control, but we believe that we have a fundamentally strong business and we are confident that whenever football does reappear from this hiatus we will be in a position to continue to take this great club forward.
We are exploring a number of initiatives that we think might help us through this situation but exactly what we do and when will be shaped by the decisions of the government and football authorities. One way in which supporters can help the club immediately is to purchase a 20/21 season ticket. We announced our 20/21 prices at the weekend, something that had been scheduled for many weeks, and although we currently have no idea when the new season will start we do hope that supporters who can will continue to support this scheme as it is integral to our planning. We also understand that many supporters who would like to take advantage of our early bird prices may not currently be able to do so and this is something we will take into consideration over the coming weeks.
Finally, we know that supporters all share great concerns over how the public health emergency will affect the club and we promise to keep you all informed to the best of our ability and to engage in as many diverse and hopefully helpful and interesting ways as we can.
Chairman, Board of Directors