Hereford are selling ‘virtual tickets’ to help the club get through the coronavirus crisis with football suspended and matchday income streams dried up for clubs across the country.
Launched today (Friday), the National League North club’s fundraising initiative will see fans buying tickets at matchday prices and the proceeds paying staff and players wages and as many other bills as possible.
Like clubs at all levels, the Bulls are struggling with severely limited incomes streams after losing matchday tickets sales and other cash generating activities at Edgar Street. As well as the ticket sales, officials are also hoping fans will spend over the coming weeks at their online shop.
Hereford chairman Andrew Graham told the club’s website: “The board have been working hard to implement some contingency plans throughout the club in order to try and mitigate potential financial problems as much as we can.
NEWS | Chairman Andrew Graham has provided a further update regarding the current Coronavirus pandemic.
— Hereford FC (@HerefordFC) March 19, 2020
“We are also trying hard to follow the government guidelines in relation to social distancing and have already made a number of operational changes as previously announced on the official website.
“However, as with many lower league clubs like ourselves, we rely heavily on matchday ticket income and associated matchday revenues such as programme sales and club shop sales, etc.
“Whilst almost all of our revenue streams have disappeared, our core outgoings remain; we have players and staff to pay, invoices to settle, insurance, tax and utilities to cover, to name just a few.
“There are likely to be some very tough decisions to be made going forward, but at the moment we are exploring many pathways in order to try and help us get through this period.
“These include, but are not limited to, the possibility of taking advantage of some of the financial assistance provided by the government, however, these pathways look unlikely to be able to cover the substantial shortfall that we look like facing.
Top work from Steve Burr! https://t.co/9QQfh6qYRq
— Hereford FC (@HerefordFC) March 18, 2020
“Therefore, we need to look to additional sources of income as soon as possible to try and help us fight through this sustained enforced period with limited income.
“We have been encouraged by the many messages of goodwill and support from fans and would like thank everyone for their kind messages. In response to many requests from fans as to how they can help, we’d like to offer a couple of simple ways in which supporters can help us get through this extremely difficult situation.
“We appreciate that this is a tough time for everyone with a lot of uncertainty in society about what the coming days, weeks and months will bring. However, we have had many requests from supporters asking how they can help. The following ways are simple and will go directly to helping our fantastic club get through this difficult time.
“Online donations. We have set up a simple way for fans to donate the cost of a matchday ticket online. Fans will have the chance to purchase a ‘virtual-ticket’, with the donated money going directly to helping cover player and staff wages as well as paying suppliers and other urgent bills.
“Online club shop. We have a wide range of merchandise available via our online shop for which we are still processing online orders for. Purchasing items online will really help us to increase our cash flow.”
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He added: “Finally, I would like to remind everyone to follow the latest government advice, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, limit social interactions and work from home where possible.”
“At the same time, please be kind, check in on your friends, family and neighbours. There will be many people who need additional support at this time, and I am sure we can call on our fantastic supporters to help ensure that our community remains safe.”
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on a Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days and the growing impact of the coronavirus on the game and society.
Images & video courtesy of @HerefordFC/Twitter