Gloucester Rugby is calling on the people and businesses of Gloucestershire to come together to support each other during this challenging period.
By launching a ‘Squad of Thousands’, the Club hopes to unite fans and local businesses and provide opportunities for them to engage with the Cherry and Whites while we all operate under restrictions. Our Squad will have the chance to access exclusive content and money-can’t-buy opportunities, giving them behind-the-scenes access to the team and Club they love.
The impact of Coronavirus and the restrictions on fans attending games has meant the loss of millions of pounds of income for the Club, and more beyond the gates of Kingsholm, with businesses from pubs to restaurants and taxi firms, as well as Club partners all suffering financially from a lack of fans on match days.
Moreover, the impact has been felt by professional players down to the grassroots game, with research showing that restrictions on sport has impacted the mental health of both players and fans.
While the package of financial support and news of a limited return of fans to the stands announced by the government last week, is welcome news and a much-needed lifeline, Gloucester Rugby say there is still much work to be done.
Lance Bradley, CEO of Gloucester Rugby:
“Gloucester Rugby has been an integral part of the Gloucestershire community since 1873. Today we employ almost 300 people from the local community and have worked with over 200 schools, local clubs and community groups through our Foundation. We’re passionate about the game and our community roots, so having no fans at games for the last nine months has not only been financially challenging for the Club and the wider Gloucester business community, but also difficult for our fans, who live and breathe the Cherry and Whites.
“We’re incredibly excited that we’ll have some fans back from December, but also mindful that many won’t be able to see games live. With that in mind we’re launching our Squad of Thousands – a chance for our fans and local businesses to come together and maintain their connection to the team and our community.”
Former Gloucester Rugby great, Mike Tindall, has added his support to the campaign saying:
“We want to galvanise supporters to get behind the Cherry and Whites and do their part to protect the legacy. Gloucester Rugby is more than just a rugby team, it’s the cornerstone of the local and wider rugby community”.
Stephen Freeman, Managing Director, Freemans, the largest events company in the UK, who also manages the match day food and beverage at Kingsholm, said:
“COVID-19 has had a hugely detrimental effect on the game of rugby and the businesses that surround it. As a partner to Gloucester Rugby Club for over 25 years, we know how important they are, not just to our own business, but to the wider Gloucestershire community. We’ve joined the Squad of Thousands and would encourage everyone with a love of the game to sign up too.”