Well the Viking machine rolls on, the fans keep backing their club and Gell’s keeps knocking out his highly amusing and entertaining Tweets…priceless!
In my previous news item I talked about how we had collectively ‘Saved Our Club’. Having had time to reflect on the past few weeks and understand in more detail the clubs position, I would like to clarify this statement. I believe the club is and will remain in a state of ‘Being Saved’ for the remainder of this season.
What I mean by this, is that we still have a very long and hard season ahead of us. As things currently stand we have the fantastic backing of our fans, the team is fit and healthy and we are winning games. The VIQI membership numbers are fairly stable and this has helped ensure we maintain the team you currently see out on the pitch each week. Maintaining long term funding and cash flow is absolutely critical to our long-term sustainable model. Whatever the future throws at us, we need to remember that so long as we stick together and keep backing our club, we will get through it together no matter what.
I’m keen to maintain communication with our fans about the current position of the VIQI scheme.
VIQI can now confirm that the fans raised in excess of £130,000. This was made up from the generous donations via the GoFundMe scheme, started by Bethany Pennington, along with other fabulous fundraising activities carried out by the fans and local businesses, which made up the additional amount. I can now confirm that £100,000 of this has already been transferred directly to the new club, along with a further £25,000 that was also made available to support the retention of players and to prevent pay cuts to members of staff and players. I know the staff and players are extremely grateful to the fans for their generosity in helping to ensure this outcome.
During the fund raising activities, all money that was being raised outside of the GoFundMe vehicle, was being converted to cheques and banked in the VIQI account, this is because VIQI does not accept cash. After the club was saved on Thursday 28th February, a significant portion of this money was still available to be banked and was continuing to be donated via the VIQI scheme. It was decided not to bank these donations, as it quickly became apparent, that in order for the club to function and the Featherstone game to go ahead without a bank account, these funds became essential and they had to be utilised.
I would like to personally thank all of the VIQI members and fans that have reached out to me, to offer their services in the forming of a VIQI board. I have received significant numbers of emails, calls and personal offers of help with moving the scheme to the next level.
I have met with numerous interested parties and I am pleased to say that we have the basis of a very dynamic and exciting board being formed. Of those that have put themselves forward, each person brings a wealth of experience and a much needed skill set to help continue the VIQI schemes growth, more details on this to follow soon.
One thing that has become apparent is that we cannot rush ahead too quickly with our plans and this is why I am keen to keep you all updated. It has become clear that there are some complex issues we need to understand and deal with in order to operate professionally. For example we are keen to set up a mailing system and intend to utilise a system such as Mail Chimp. There are however, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that we will need to comply with, in order to ensure we protect the personal information of our members. It is critical that we handle member’s information in accordance with these regulations.
I can also confirm that the intention is for VIQI to remain a fully voluntary, autonomous organisation working in partnership with the club and other supporters groups.
I would like to finish off by saying a huge thank you to everyone of our 1,452 members, your continued support during a very difficult time for the club has been nothing short of amazing and has significantly helped the clubs discussions with its stakeholders. It is absolutely imperative that we retain your continued support, in order to facilitate our great club to grow and rise back to the pinnacle of our game, where we all know we belong.
There are still a limited amount of tickets remaining for the upcoming Members Monday session on 1st April and I will be on hand to answer any questions. It would be absolutely fantastic if we could smash through the 1,500 members mark leading up to or during this event. As a reminder, we are still offering all members the chance to win a signed Martin Murray (@MartinMurrayBox) Golden Boxing Glove, once we hit the magic 1,500 members.
Finally EVERY member subscribing to VIQI will be entitled to vote, so I urge you to sign up now to have a say in all things VIQI.
Thanks as ever, for your continued and loyal support…