Oldham RLFC

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Autumn Comp — 1895 Update

The RFL will continue to work with those Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs who are keen to return to action earlier than the scheduled start of the 2021 season after an agreement that it is not feasible to arrange a one-off competition this autumn.

Initial discussions have already been held about the possibility of amending the format of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup to allow for a number of rounds of regional group fixtures being played over the winter. This could include playing rounds on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day before reverting to a short knockout format next spring leading to the Wembley Final on the day of the Coral Challenge Cup Final - which was central to the creation of the competition in 2019.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:

“Like everyone we want to see a return of our sport at this level. But in these uniquely challenging circumstances it is important that we work with the clubs to find the best solutions.

“As we have since March, we need to be flexible and creative. We hope the coming months will include the return of crowds to sporting events - something that is so crucial at this level.

“Some clubs have already expressed enthusiasm for the option of an earlier start to the 2021 season, and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup provides us with a possible opportunity to secure that.

“There is also the possibility of using the traditional sporting dates of Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to come back with a bang – although it is important we recognise there are still substantial challenges ahead as we work through the detailed requirements for the return of our sport outside Super League.

“Moving the majority of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup to earlier in the season should also mean fewer midweek games in the 2021 schedule, which would be another potential advantage. With the Super League clubs agreeing to contribute to a prize money fund for this competition it definitely seems like an opportunity that we should continue to explore.

“Those discussions will continue over the coming weeks, as we all continue to work towards bringing Rugby League back for players and supporters to enjoy – although given the unpredictability of various aspects of the current situation, we are able to assess developments and the views of all clubs before making any firm commitments.

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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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