GREENOCK Wanderers have netted a much-needed four-figure financial boost as they battle through the coronavirus crisis.

Secretary David McIlroy has welcomed incoming money from the Scottish Rugby Union Hardship Fund.

Wanderers, like many local sporting organisations, have lost out on a significant amount of income due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

The SRU made money available via the fund, offering payments of up to £5,000 to help see clubs through.

Wanderers official David told the Tele: “We were told by the SRU that we had been successful in our application for the hardship funding that had become available.

“It is a fund open to all clubs who are affiliated with the SRU.

"There was a pot of around £500k to be dispense around the clubs.

“The amount we have been given will be disclosed at our annual general meeting on Thursday.

“We won’t get this until the end of the month, but we are absolutely delighted to be receiving an allocation of the funds that have been made available.

“Funding like this is crucial for clubs like Greenock Wanderers because the period from March to July is one of our busiest spells.

“It’s hugely important for us, it’s normally a busy period at the end of our season where usually we have the better weather for our activities.

“At our final home games, we usually hold lunches which are money-spinners in terms of getting cash through the gates and through the social club.

"We also have our end of year festivals, which includes the old crocks game, the seven-a-sides and the minis tournament – all of which have been curtailed this year.

“These usually provide us with funds to see us through the close season period.

"We’ve also had to cancel our ball in the town hall, which again is a big event for us to help raise funds, so this funding has come as a crucial lifeline for us.

“It’s been great for us to tap into this fund to raise cash that we would usually generate on our own behalf.

“Every Scottish rugby club's biggest concern at the minute is survivability.

"To be able to get through to whenever we are able to start playing rugby again is hugely important for us.

“We hope that we can get through til the end of July, when the annual subscriptions are due, and we will be able to gather funds on top of this.”

Wanderers intend to split the hardship grant between their various teams and they are busy making preparations so that they are ready to resume at Fort Matilda the minute the go-ahead is given by the authorities.

Mr McIlroy said: "We’re looking at the full club - the men’s teams, the ladies teams, the juniors from primary one all the way up to under-18s, and every penny that we receive will be to sustain our groups across the club evenly.

“The club took what I think is a bold decision in deciding not to furlough our groundsman and our regional development officer.

“We did this first of all to keep the grounds looking fantastic and in pristine condition and secondly for the development officer to keep in contact with the players, parents and coaches to ensure that everyone has kept feeling involved and connected.

“We will be ready to go when the SRU and the Scottish Government guidelines permit.”