As we finalise plans for the first team squad to return to training next month the club would like to start this update by placing on record its appreciation to the supporters who have remained positive, and supportive, during what has been one of the most difficult periods in its 40 year history.
When we left the field at York earlier this year nobody could have anticipated what was to come in the following 6 month period. To say it has been difficult is an understatement.
Our players and coaching staff have spent months unable to train, play, or even get together to socialise as a team and this will of course have implications on how our performance staff prepare for pre-season training. Never before have players returned after such a lengthy lay off. An indication of when our first competitive fixture will be is still not confirmed which leads to further problems for the coaching team who despite all of this have remained calm and positive throughout the whole process, ready to deal with whatever hand we are dealt as a club.
With this in mind it is really pleasing for us to be able to update supporters with the news that the first team squad will return to training in November led by Head Coach Danny Ward and his team of staff with the intention of playing again around the beginning of March 2021. To know that the players are returning has given a boost to everyone at the Club and we hope that the fans will also share this too.
Off the field our Owner, CEO and Commercial team have worked tirelessly on a number of things, some of which are already known such as the Official Supporters Club and Community RL Lotto but many more yet to be announced including exciting new partnerships with brands and sponsors.
We know there has been criticism from some parts on the lack of players signed by the club in recent months. In fact there have been negotiations and agreements with several players, as well as staff, but sometimes it is just not possible to release this information for a variety of reasons. It is also worth remembering that during a normal year we would only just have finished our season and often player retention is sorted out around this time anyway. 2021 is likely to be a difficult year, even with a return to ‘normality’ and the long term future of the club has to be the number one priority.
Recent months have of course taken their toll on the club financially. Without home fixtures the club have had to find new ways to generate revenue and our amazing fan base have, as always, supported the initiatives launched during the summer and we expect this to continue in the coming months knowing how supportive you are to this club. We will soon be launching our new training and leisure range online and we hope that our supporters are able to treat themselves to some of this in the run up to Christmas as it might be our only revenue source this winter! We have made the difficult decision to postpone launching our match shirts before Christmas, something we know some of you look forward to, however given the current economic getting the match kit sponsor deals agreed in time was not possible and it made more sense to hang the match shirts back until early 2021.
In the coming days we are pleased to be able to announce several new sponsors and brand partners including a Principle Training Partner as part of a multi-year deal that shows London based companies are willing to back the Broncos financially. Many of these brand partners will also be part of the soon to be launched Broncos Business Club, another element of the club that will add support from 2021 onwards. To have so many new companies and individuals wanting to get involved with the Broncos, even at this difficult time, is of course very reassuring.
You will probably have seen last week we announced the National Autistic Society as our Charity Partners and this decision has had a brilliant response. This decision was easy to make having spoken to the NAS and we are glad that it pleased so many of you.
We are looking forward to bringing you further updates from Danny, the Coaching Staff, the players and the Club throughout November via our website and social media channels. We fully understand the frustrations of supporters that wanted to hear from these people through the summer but furlough rules prevented this from happening as many of you of course already knew.
Thanks again for being so patient with the club as we operated with a skeleton staff in difficult circumstances. We have received so many messages of support from fans around the UK and we know that some of you will also have had some very difficult situations to deal with.
From all of us at the London Broncos, stay safe, we look forward to seeing you again soon.