The RFL announced on Sunday that the 125 Celebratory Cup was a non-starter given that only four clubs, including ourselves, had put their hand up. To be honest we were encountering a few issues in getting our COVID-19 testing arranged and the decision may have been a blessing given that it looked like a significant bill was looming.

At least now we know for sure that the competition is not going ahead but we were given a little more uncertainty when it was revealed that the 1895 cup for 2021 may actually start this year with the possibility of some group fixtures, and with it the potential for games on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. I remember the days of winter rugby and, as a player, having to refrain from the festivities knowing there was games over the Festive period.

Perhaps not great for the players but these games were always well attended.

The RFL will consult with the clubs on this matter but whatever the decision, it needs to come quickly. The uncertainty has been the biggest killer as far as trying to plan for the future and I guess every business needs to know what is on the horizon for cost purposes.

In this case it also affects planning from a team perspective. If the players are to be playing competitive games that much earlier then pre-season training needs to be adjusted accordingly.

As far as putting the squad together is concerned we are in advanced talks with the majority of our players and we are pleased to say that they all believe there is some unfinished business in terms of our promotion ambitions.

We hope to have the core of last season’s squad and add a sprinkling of quality additions, something I am sure you all agree with, in the signings of Adam Walne and Shaun Lunt, we have done so far.

Watch this space, but perhaps there’s another exciting signing to come for the fans.

Off the field we continue to diversify with our beer garden that has become really popular with the outdoor environment offering a much safer venue and the public the confidence to attend. The takings from this has been a godsend as we would be really struggling without the income that it has brought in.

We plan to close at the end of September, not least because there is only a certain amount that our groundsman can take.

With wetter, colder weather on the horizon the time is right to draw a curtain. However, for one final week in October we are going to take advantage of our marquee by having a private Raiders party with all players, coaches, directors, staff, volunteers, sponsors and season ticket holders who donated their refund, all invited with a few free drinks in to the bargain, together with a massive thank-you for all their support in a year like no other.

In the dim and distant past, when I took the role of chairman, I talked about diversification of income streams and this has been a prime example of what can be achieved.

Plans are already in place for Summer 2021 when hopefully the beer garden can return along with increased events like our pop festival that was such a success.