The Derbyshire club took positive action to ensure their survival.
Thanks to Kevin Vallance for this article
When the full horrors of the Covid 19 pandemic were finally being appreciated some of the earliest activities to be suspended were sport and leisure. The Football Association postponed all games under their jurisdiction. Many newspaper column inches and much talk was heard on T.V. and radio about the financial ramifications of not completing the Premier League. Less was heard about how the suspension or cancellation of fixtures would impact on local football. Following the cancellation of the 2019-2020 football season Wirksworth Ivanhoe were facing a potentially perilous financial situation. It’s fair to say that the club who operate on a shoe string, relying largely on players Matchday subscription’s, the proceeds of the annual spring bank holiday 5 aside competition and generous donations of local companies were facing a serious financial short fall. The months of March, April and May are those which raise the most income for the club, this then sets it up for the annual bills which need to be paid in the next quarter when there is little or no income. There are a myriad of underlying costs which need to be paid, insurance premiums for the hut and public liability, electric, water, ground rent, mowing and hedge cutting to name but a few. There were very serious doubts about the actual existence of the club in its current format, with the approach of its Centenary year in 2021 the club wants to be expanding and celebrating, not questioning if it can afford to continue with current commitments. Due to the ‘public lockdown’ it was impossible to hold the necessary committee meetings to attempt to resolve the situation. One suggestion put forward was the use of a ‘Just Giving Appeal’. It’s fair to say that a number of the committee were skeptical about trying to raise funds at such a difficult time for everyone. But after much discussion approval was given and the appeal was launched on April 21st. An ambitious target of £10 K was set for the next 12 months. The immediate response from private donations was phenomenal and a figure of £2 K was rapidly reached and then things went to a whole new level. A donation of £ 1 000 was received from Robert Molloy, at that stage someone unknown to anyone within the club. A little research on the internet revealed that Mr. Molloy is a Hollywood film producer with a love of football (or has he tweeted soccer as it’s called in the US). Interestingly his maternal grand-father is a former owner of the New York Yankee’s and he has connections with New York City F.C. It then transpired that Mr. Molloy had also made generous donations to Matlock Town and Manchester club Denton Town. Quick communications between officials of the three clubs led to talk of the Non-League triangle, three clubs working together for the benefit of their communities and young talent. These are the exact words used in the Wirksworth Ivanhoe Football Club constitution so the club was happy to be involved with the alliance. In the words Tweeted by Robert Molloy “ this is perfect, everbody is tight-knit, and that means more passion and more love for the game”. With funds now in the Bank and the future of the club now secured, when the lockdown is lifted work will begin to upgrade the facilities on Wirksworth Recreation Ground moving into the Centenary year. The Just Giving page is still open and donations will be accepted until next April.