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Coronavirus - Statement No. 2

posted Mar 20, 2020, 12:50 PM by Malcolm Fletcher
Date issued: Thursday 14th March:

Dear member clubs and bowlers, 

Now that the dust has started to settle on the BCGBA suspension of the sport notice issued on Monday, it is time to start taking stock. 

All MSBL meetings are cancelled until further notice and the League’s officers are now communicating by email and phone to try and firm up their early contingency plans. 

Of immediate concern to them is the future of its 26 member clubs and, rest assured, they are working on a number of ideas of how the League can try and help them get through a very difficult period with much reduced income - a spell which may well drag on for the whole summer, who knows? 

Treasurer Celia Miles is formulating financial support proposals that will be agreed by the officers and then circulated to clubs, one of which is an offer of emergency loans. 

Thankfully, club annual accounts are not now issued until September so we do have time on our side when it comes to finalising League fees like annual team subs, player registration fees and paying for 2 annual dinner presentation places. 

Logic suggests that if there is no League action in 2020 there should be no fees etc! And the question of honoraria to be paid to officers this year, if any, is also on the agenda. 

But fixture secretary Ric Hudson is already working on proposals for fixtures if we do – as we all sincerely hope – get the green light to resume playing for the second half of the season in late June / early July, when the peak of the outbreak should have passed. 

He is consulting with competition secretary Phil King to see what dates, if any, would be free for his programme, but it seems almost certain that the 3 Team Knockouts will not run and the comps will be severely limited. 

I understand the county are also now looking at league and club payments to be paid this year, but, the SCGBA’s early recommendation was that public liability insurance be paid. 

And the MSBL, via its 3 delegates, will be pushing the county to do the same as this League with regards to affiliation fees payable, offering emergency loans this year instead of grants and the honoraria they pay. 

On a positive note, there could be a huge opportunity for bowls when this crisis passes to attract bored and isolated people of all ages to take up the sport we all love. Increased membership is the best way to secure the long term futures of our clubs when we get through these tough times. 

Let’s just hope we do have something to celebrate come Saturday 16th January 2021 and that the MSBL annual dinner can go ahead, a provisional booking having just been made at the Mercure Telford Centre Hotel. 

Take good care, stay safe and healthy. 

Malcolm Fletcher (General Secretary) 

For details of potential support for clubs from Sport England go to the coronavirus section