On Friday 13th March the Scottish football season was suspended and our successful season and business ground to a halt.
The following day the club held a board meeting in Aviemore in which Manager John Robertson also attended. In the last few minutes of that somewhat surreal meeting we discussed the best way forward and it was unanimously agreed that as we were clearly in un-chartered waters, and we should neither panic nor take any knee jerk actions in the coming days. Not an easy position to hold in these extremely uncertain times but as things seemed to be changing daily the safety of our players, staff, and supporters, and the survival of the club was our focus and we felt that it was critical to stay calm and to take daily stock of the ever evolving situation.
We have agreed that almost all members of staff and every single player will enter into the UK Govt Job Retention Scheme. We sincerely thank everyone for their full co-operation in taking this action. This furlough scheme allows for the Govt to ultimately pay 80% of the basic wage of everyone, and it is our intention to pay the additional 20% to every employee. A very small operational team will continue to co-ordinate club affairs during the lockdown period. We have also been in weekly discussions with the SFA and SPFL and many of our fellow clubs and we will look to avail ourselves of all and any HMRC/Govt grants and deferrals as they become available to us because, in effect, we have entered into rescue mode with regards to our club.
We successfully launched our #TogetherNess campaign which saw players and coaching staff deliver shopping bags full of essentials and goodies donated by the club and fellow ICT fans to over 100 of our earliest “at risk” self isolating supporters and we have also made deliveries of 200 Subway sandwiches and hot and cold drinks to the emergency services in Inverness. We have been asked about extending this campaign which was temporarily curtailed due to the lockdown and we will hopefully resurrect it shortly, circumstances permitting as the stadium is in almost complete lockdown at the moment. We are currently looking at a number of ways we can continue to play our part in the City and surrounding areas. Watch this space as we develop those in the coming days and weeks.
Similarly, we are also exploring what we can do to try and raise any revenue we can in order to ease the ongoing financial challenge we face and while we have been asked about the early launch of season tickets we are currently looking at ways in which this can be optimised to suit everyone, especially considering the unprecedented financial situation we all find ourselves in. We will hopefully be in a position to make an announcement re Season Tickets in the next ten days and if you are able to support us in any of our initiatives, you will be playing your own part in guaranteeing a future for the generations of Caley Jags to come.
Finally, we have been truly humbled by the extraordinary generosity of a number of our fans, who in the last couple of weeks have made amazing donations to the club from £10 to £10,000. All have been equally appreciated and you have not only made a real difference to our ability to get by but you fill us with the fire we will need to keep going in order to get through this pandemic so that we can all see the Caley Jags run out onto the pitch again, sometime in the future.
Thank you and please take care of yourselves, your family and loved ones and our highland community.
Scot Gardiner Ross Morrison