Tough times but Falcons will hold strong: Chairman
RUGBY LEAGUE: There are plenty of unknowns, but Sunshine Coast Falcons chairman Ashley Robinson is adamant the club will hold strong after its season was called off.
The outfit has been in limbo since its round one fixture earlier this month and any hopes of hitting the field again in 2020 were quashed on Friday with the Queensland Rugby League announcing the cancellation of the Intrust Super Cup, plus three other statewide competitions, due to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
The women’s season, U20s and U18s were also affected.
“It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way it is and the QRL would’ve thought long and hard about what it would cost in a shortened season and I guess we’ve just got to accept their decision, they’re the governing body and they’re doing the best they can in a difficult situation,” Robinson said.
“We will try and keep (players for 2021) but there’s going to be some very disappointed young men out there that trained very hard.”
He said the cancellation would be a tough blow.
“It’s a big hit,” he said.
“Some (sponsors) have paid, some haven’t. Obviously, the ones that haven’t paid won’t pay and ones that have paid I guess they’ll decide whether (to get a refund).
“The biggest problem is the business economy is tough now and it’s going to get tougher so they have every right to want a refund.”
Other sources of funding were set to wind back too.
“I think there’s a (QRL) grant due in April and I understand we’re going to get that as per schedule,” he said.
“But, after that no one knows what’s going to happen and we probably won’t know for a while.
“We’ll have to look at what our expenses are and make sure that we survive this, which we have to do and which we will.”
He praised CEO Chris Flannery and admin staff for their efforts throughout the past few months and also thanked sponsors and season members for their support.
He also thanked club welfare officer Karen Jenkinson for her ongoing support to players.
“One of the great things about the Falcons is that we’re a really strong tight-knit family club so we will make sure we look after our players and their families,” Robinson said.
QRL managing director Robert Moore acknowledged the enormity of the decision.
“We understand the outcome is a heartbreaking one for the rugby league community, but it’s a call that simply had to be made given the current circumstances,” he said.
“These four competitions require a significant level of travel and accommodation, both of which pose a risk to the health of our participants and possibly others.
“By making this announcement now, it provides our clubs with the opportunity to re-set and turn their attention towards the 2021 season.”