Douglas Struth's New Year Message
Managing Director Douglas Struth pens a personal message to thank supporters for their support in 2020 and looks ahead to an exciting year ahead.
Happy New Year from all of us at Edinburgh Rugby!
Firstly, I hope you managed to safely spend time with your family and loved ones on Christmas Day - and are celebrating this festive period as best you can in the circumstances. I know that many of you will have been unable to get home, or see loved ones, which is incredibly difficult at this time.
As 2020 comes to an end and we look forward to the year ahead, there is perhaps no better time to reflect on the last 12 months that, in truth, have been hugely challenging for all of us.
Away from rugby - our thoughts go out to those who’ve lost their lives or loved ones due to COVID-19. We will also always be thankful to those who have protected us and looked after us – such as the healthcare and key workers that have got us through 2020.
I’m sure we can all think of a many ways to sum up 2020, but in an Edinburgh Rugby context, pride is the word that comes to mind for me. I continue to be immensely proud of our players, our coaches, our staff and more significantly, our supporters – as we all continue to play a major role in keeping our club going at this time.
When we faced Cardiff Blues on 28 February 2020, no one could have predicted that it would be our last game for a six-month period – a period in which we all truly had to come together.
From the way we stayed connected as a club and supporters, through our innovative content, player messages, virtual awards and live shows – we set ourselves the challenge at the start of lockdown to maintain a presence in people’s lives despite no live rugby being played.
I hope you feel that we were able to live up to that, and I feel that in a way 2020 has probably helped us become more engaged with you than ever.
When rugby came back in late August, we were determined to keep that connection going – despite fans not being back in stadiums – and I hope that retaining the 1872 Cup and reaching the club’s first-ever Guinness PRO14 Semi-Final felt like wins for all of you at home. Fast forward to December, and that pride and determination remains as strong as ever.
On the year ahead, COVID-19 continues to present us all with huge challenges. However, there is no doubt that a huge focus for the club will be our move to get moved in to our new stadium and be #HomeAtLast. All of us – including you the supporters – have worked tirelessly to continue the development of our new stadium through COVID-19.
With that project now on the very cusp of completion, we can now look forward to moving in and making our new stadium our home in 2021. Moving into our new home will be a huge moment in this club’s history - and is something we can all look forward to.
If I had one festive wish, it would be for our fans to return to live matches just as soon as we are safe and able to do so. This pandemic has re-enforced once again to me that this club is nothing without its fans.
Having attended several behind closed-door fixtures myself, it is clear just how much the players miss your energy and support. When we do all get back into stadiums in 2021, it will feel really special for all of us.
Finally, from all of us at Edinburgh Rugby, thank you for your unwavering support in 2020 - here’s to 2021!
Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director