Following extensive discussions with our Board of Directors over the last couple of weeks, I feel that now is a good time to advise our fans on the current situation at Bayview.
As you will all appreciate our first priority is for the health & well-being of all of our employees including players, management, club office staff and, of course, our volunteers. There has been a lot work going on behind the scenes and no doubt this will continue for a good while yet.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has caused an enormous amount of disruption to both the football club, and more importantly, the wider community. As you will be aware, all domestic football has been postponed until 30th April 2020 at the earliest, however, we realistically expect the shutdown to run well into the summer.
As a club we have implemented the following actions to safeguard our employees:
- The club office is now closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Leona & Carolyn will be working from home during the closure and are available to answer any enquiries via email.
- Following guidance from the SFA last week, no first-team or under 20s training sessions have taken place. Players are undertaking fitness training on their own although the management teams have been available to provide them with any support and advice required.
- The Locality Hub Bayview Stadium will also remain closed until further notice.
As you can imagine, the postponement of all matches will have a substantial impact of the club financially. At the time of the shutdown we had 4 home league matches to play which has resulted in loss in revenue from gate admissions and sold-out hospitality as well as losses from club shop and bar sales. Our final scheduled home match of this season against Falkirk would have generated income of around £20,000 on its own. We are also in a promising position within the league & were very much in contention for the promotion play-offs this year, matches which would have also generated a considerable amount of revenue for the club.
Following a lot of hard-work by the Board of Directors over the last few years, East Fife Football Club are in a relatively safe financial position however the losses detailed above put a significant strain on club finances and we will begin to struggle should the shutdown continue into August as some within the game have indicated. East Fife do have Business Interruption insurance, including closure for diseases, however, when we enquired about this last week, we were advised that we would not be covered by that insurance as the stadium hadn’t been closed due to an incident of this coronavirus on the premises. We are currently checking whether our position changes now that we’ve entered a government mandated shutdown.
I have been heartened by the number of supporters who have contacted the club wishing to contribute financially. I have so far been reluctant to ask supporters for donations as I know many will be struggling with their own position at this time. We have, however, given our backing to a Gofundme campaign set up by Melanie Lothian & Mandy Stevenson. You can donate to the page here.
I would also encourage all supporters to sign up for our Goldmine Lotto which you can now do online. The current jackpot is £1,450 and the draw takes place every Wednesday at 1pm. For more info & to play click here.
East Fife TV and our media team having been doing a fantastic job keeping you informed and entertained over the past couple of weeks and have plans in place for future features. Last weekend I’m sure many of you tuned in to watch their “live” match & I’m sure you’ll do so again this weekend; I hear we’re going to have the chance to relive another memorable encounter! East Fife TV are showing all of these matches for free but donations can be made if you wish here. All monies donated will come directly to the club.
Finally, I encourage all of you to adhere to all advice issued by the government to help fight this virus and I hope you & your family remain safe & well.