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An update from chairman Christopher Hamilton

Firstly, I hope you all are keeping safe during this difficult time.

As most of you will know, all Championship and League One clubs recently had another meeting with the RFL.

One of the main topics was to discuss the potential for returning to training and then playing matches behind closed doors.

It would be fair to say that the amount of work that has gone into this, both at Government level and with the RFL, has been significant as this is a much more complex situation than you might expect.

The original document we received around return-to-train protocols was 22 pages long and I can assure you there were no wasted pages in there !

The threat of Covid-19 remains very real and rugby league, due to the nature of both training and playing, is a high-risk sport. It is therefore vital that all the necessary steps and guidelines are strictly followed to ensure the safety of all the people involved.

This includes ensuring that all training and playing venues are bio secure. That will entail a lot of work and cost, obviously, with the testing of staff and players a key element of the whole process.

In addition, the needs of players and staff – for whom this is a second job – together with our medical staff who work within the NHS, are paramount.

There is still no decision as to whether or not we will return this season as there is so much to consider as well as the welfare of so many people, not least the fans, season ticket holders and sponsors, plus the clubs’ and venues’ abilities to be able to comply with all required standards.

There isn’t, at this present time, a date on the horizon as to when spectators might be able to return to watch games, even in reduced numbers. This is the position everybody wants to get to although it is very much dependent on how the virus continues to be controlled.

As I have said before, the RFL has done an impressive job for the game throughout the whole of this pandemic and has kept clubs up to date as much as possible with information and guidance, all of which is following government advice, which is crucial.

The RFL board will meet early next week and following the clubs’ last meeting everybody had to fill in a survey. The results from that survey will be considered at the board meeting although it remains to be seen if a decision is made at that time.

To finish, can I thank all of you for your ongoing support to the club at this difficult time for everybody. The support of people through the lottery, the sponsorship for the replaying of last year’s Promotion Final and, more recently, the buying of leisurewear and then the NHS tee shirts have all played a key role in helping us to keep the club going.

As soon as there is any more news to report we will let you have it.

Stay safe,

Christopher Hamilton
Chairman
Oldham Rugby League Club

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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