Forward Planning for 2021
The challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic for all forms of leisure/hospitality businesses are considerable, and the situation at Fordhouses Cricket Club is certainly no different! Your Club Officers have held a number of meetings to look at our short to medium term viability. Discussions have been based on the ongoing operational and income generation limitations – closures, no events/functions, social distancing regulations, loss of sponsorship, rental and car parking income.
Yes, there is hope in the form of an approved vaccine, but in reality restrictions in Wolverhampton are likely to be in place well into the new calendar year. We will also need to follow whatever guidelines are provided by governing bodies of sport (ECB) around playing competitive games and holding accredited coaching sessions both in and outdoors.
The current situation accelerates the requirement to make some regrettable decisions on staffing retention and recruitment. These will inevitably ‘impact’ across all aspects of the club’s activities/services from site management, bar, cleaning, catering, grounds maintenance to cricketing and bowls activities. We have taken into account key areas such as expenditure, income and method of delivery. For example, recent proposals to restructure the field maintenance staff team will not happen in the immediate future.
Relevant to cricket we propose to communicate digitally via FCC’s website, social media networks, Club Captain’s group, Junior Section members/coaches/parents – key areas to be debated and agreed include electing officials/ team captains, membership fees, subscriptions, coaching arrangements including mentoring, overseas/ contracted players, sponsorship, equipment etc. Traditional arrangements for formal consultation ‘platforms’ like Annual General Meetings and Management Committee will have to adapt and change in 2021.
Unfortunately, as we move into the New Year and the issuing of new staff contracts, one of the ‘cut back casualties’ will be the post of Head Coach – Junior Section. Sadly we are not able to commit the club financially to this recently created post that Matt Jones has held during 2020. The only consolation in this stop/start season is that he has successfully completed his ECB Level 3 Coaching Award, and everyone at the club send their best wishes to Matt in his future coaching career.
In terms of future planning the challenge for all categories of club membership is to look at creative ways to deliver activities more cost effectively, with a greater emphasis on selfhelp and volunteerism – something we used to take great pride in at Fordhouses. However, in recent years at Wobaston Road there has become a trend to rely very heavily on paid work.
Keep an eye on the website for an update on how we propose to prepare ourselves for the 2021 cricket season. Offers of help on a voluntary basis and the generation of fresh ideas will be greatly welcomed. Let’s see some fresh faces to share the responsibilities that will keep the Cricket Club stable, sustainable and forward thinking in these most difficult times.
Happy New Year to you all, with a special word of thanks for the sterling efforts of our staff team headed up by Colin, Helen and Rob
Kevin, Peter and Mike
FCC Club Officers