FINALLY one of the Government schemes came up trumps late last week with the payment of the coronavirus grant from the council.

This was a very timely payment as we continue to fully pay all our staff with very little income coming the other way.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on Monday and already we have seen press reports of an enormous number of businesses looking to take advantage.

It is not a straight-forward process for us with our staff a mixture of those with fixed contracts and others receiving variable pay.

For those that were with us last year we have been busy working out whether the equivalent monthly 2019 pay is a better deal or the average earnings.

We then have the problem of putting in a pro-rata claim as the furlough period doesn’t necessarily cover the whole of a month.

At times it feels that both Keith Holt and I have been set a home schooling mathematical challenge, but we are getting there.

There has still been no contact from our bank, which is disappointing, as we look to take advantage of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The same banks that couldn’t wait for a bailout in the 2008 crash now seem reluctant to lend money even with the Government guaranteeing 80 per cent.

Our own bank, the RBS, wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the tax payer bailout but their performance in offering us help has been poor at best and typically there is now no local branch to talk face to face.

We had another meeting with the RFL last week and from all reports they have had very productive meetings with government.

They are trying to seek funding to secure the game, selling the fact that so many clubs do great work in the community.

The great community work obviously applies to our own club and we hope to be leading the way when we come through this. Problems with mental health, lack of physical activity and simple interaction with people will mean that our team will be kept very busy.

You may have seen that we have offered the public the chance to show their appreciation to the NHS and frontline workers with a training top available from the club.

This has been led by our director Jack Fawcett who has been doing a tremendous job during lockdown.

The youngest member of the board has been full of ideas and sometimes it is a challenge to get him to slow down, concentrate on one job properly and deliver; he has certainly done that with the tops and hopefully it won’t be long before we announce another initiative to show our appreciation of the key workers.

Hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel as we see other countries remove some restrictions on lockdown.

My personal opinion is that the UK will see something similar in early May and if the number of cases continues to fall we might see some games of rugby by the end of June or start of July.

If that’s the case the RFL have been very thorough and already have contingency plans to finish the season from that point. Any later and it becomes really tough to fit the season in.