The region’s two premier rugby union clubs have both outlined how they plan to weather the current turmoil caused by coronavirus.

In statements released this week by Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal rugby clubs, both clubs express concern over the financial future of their respective clubs.

In the case of Kirkby Lonsdale, whose men’s team competes in Northern Premier at level five of the RFU league pyramid, the club is expected to take a financial hit following the complete loss of revenue caused by the lockdown.

A statement released by the club reads: “Following the announcement by the RFU that all rugby is cancelled for the 2019/20 season and the government announcement that all restaurants, bars, etc., must close we have been considering how that will impact the rugby club and how we plan for the immediate future.

“With the Prime Minister’s announcement of March 23 it is clear the COVID – 19 pandemic is going to be with us for some time and restrictions are likely to get tighter before they are relaxed.

“We have created an action plan for the immediate future and will further develop that as we learn more from the RFU and Government in relation to the support available.

“For now we have made plans through to the end of August. Over the same period we will be working on our business plan for the following 12 months and beyond.

“Our greatest challenge is loss of revenue and the inevitable impact on our cash flow effecting our ability to meet our current financial liabilities/ongoing running/maintenance costs.

“We are trying to balance our moral and financial obligations while securing the future of KLRUFC.

“During the next few months we usually hold our annual (revenue bearing) events.

“The monies raised from these events go a long way to paying our running costs and also to pay for upgrades to our facilities and services.

“This has all, understandably, ground to a halt.

“The Beer and Music Festival and mini and youth festivals have all been postponed. We will be announcing new dates for all as soon as possible and safe.

“We also welcome campers onto our grounds over the summer months, which bring welcome revenue to the club and the town. This has been cancelled until further notice.

“These decisions were made in line with Government instructions and most importantly with everyone’s health in mind.

“Our first and most important request is that everyone should follow the official advice and encourage others to do the same.

“This simple action may well save your or another life and delay the impact on the NHS so that they can continue their amazing work.”

Kirkby’s Westmorland rivals, Kendal, who ply their trade in the league below, North One East, have expressed similar concerns.

Chairman of Kendal Rugby, Stephen Green, said in a message to club members: “As members will know the club is closed and the signs are that the ‘lockdown’ will continue for some weeks yet.

“The building is mothballed and all the plant is shut down so as not to waste utilities.

“We have no income to speak of, but still suppliers to pay.

“On the plus side we will be granted £25,000 through the local council scheme and our business rates are cancelled for the next 12 months.

“We are carefully monitoring our financial position.

“Our staff are all furloughed and subject to the Government’s Corona Job Retention Scheme, which reimburses 80% of their salaries.

“This applies from March 1st but is likely not to be paid until the end of April at the earliest.

“Now that final league positions are confirmed we have informed the rfu that we wish to return to North 1 West next season.

“We expect a decision in a few weeks.

“Some good news is that after a long and detailed negotiation with United Utilities, they have agreed that we can be charged the concessionary rate for surface water and highway drainage.

“Their initial proposal was that the new Club should pay £24,000 per annum based on our surface area.

“Fortunately, the scheme allows clubs like ours to pay the base rate of less than £200 per year so a significant saving on our running costs.

“We hope you all stay safe and look forward to welcoming you back to the club as soon as restrictions are lifted.”

With Kendal set to level transfer to North One West, the club’s coffers could be boosted next year by reduced travel time and two derbies to compete in.

With Carlisle relegated from North Premier, and Penrith already playing in North One West, Kendal can expect some bumper crowds at Mint Bridge next season.

Meanwhile, Kirkby Lonsdale can authoritatively claim to Cumbria’s premier rugby union side, following Carlisle’s relegation, but the bragging rights may be bittersweet as there is now no derby for Kirkby fans to look forward to.

A Cumbria Cup final versus Carlisle has also been postponed indefinitely.