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From Dicky Evans
Primarily, I would like to wish everyone connected with the Pirates the very best of health in these difficult times. As many of you reading this will be aware the Pirates and particularly the players have been very active volunteering in the community and our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website has been especially prevalent in providing all sorts of news and in particular, some very welcome replays of two very famous victories. All good for the head and heart in this difficult period in our history.
The reason for this message from myself is therefore the opportunity to explain to the supporters in general, and the playing staff, the reasons for some forthcoming actions with respect to funding going forward.
I am currently under a curfew and movement control regime in Kenya where the government have taken some very stiff measures some time ago which to date seem to have borne fruit.
All flights were cancelled from China as soon as the news came out and now with other flights being stopped only residents and passport holders are allowed into the country. All places where people meet have been ordered to close and this includes bars and hotels and we are on a 1900 – 0500 curfew and not allowed to travel outside our county. Consequently, the pandemic seems to be under control here with currently only 9 fatalities, 216 cases and 41 recoveries.
This background is important as no hotels are allowed to operate and all air travel has ceased.
My businesses are based around the three five-star Hemingways properties and an extensive tour operator by the name of Express Travel Group.
Consequently, we have nil income coming into the business for the foreseeable future and we don’t have a government to assist, as has happened in the UK. We have sent our 1000 or so employees on leave and they are receiving 65% of their salaries. Nobody has been dismissed but it is very costly and particularly hard with no income coming into our business for the foreseeable future and it will take months to get back on stream.
Therefore, things are exceedingly tight financially for myself going forward and we have lost some $12 million turnover to date and this number continues to rise.
As most people are aware I am the main source of funding for all of the player and staff contracts. When the news of the first financial hit by the RFU of circa £250k a year came along , I agreed with the board that I, along with some support from Martin Hudson, could meet the new budgets which were in place for next seasons squad in full.
However, with the current massive downturn in my business plus the money needed for the stadium it is apparent that I will have to raid the family savings again to meet the full costs of the extensive contracts in place. I have already put a halt to all expenses on the stadium going forward, especially as we are still awaiting the actual land transfer which was agreed pre – Christmas.
I cannot in all honesty go to my family and ask for their assistance on raiding the family savings even more than normal without asking the players and staff to take a “One and All” approach to putting the club first and flex on contractual terms in terms of pay reductions. It should be noted that the two head coaches have agreed to take considerable pay cuts already.
We are still building for the future and hope we would have gotten back to normal for the 2021-22 season. The overall aim of this is to protect as many jobs as possible and ensure the Club survives through these turbulent times.
Kenya April 2020
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