Dear geegeez.co.uk reader/subscriber,
I wanted to share a quick update with you on where we are in terms of the site seeing out the current hiatus. The summary is that things are looking better than first feared, and all bar an Armageddon scenario should see our ongoing function.
Here's what's been happening:
I've reduced running costs by cutting back to a minimum: staff have kindly paused or reduced their capacity until such time as we're racing again.
I still need help with editorial content and we're still doing some development (so things will look even better, and have still more features, when we return), so there remain some non-essential expenses.
Those have been covered, give or take, by the loyalty of subscribers during this lockdown; and as a result of that we are in much better shape than I expected.
Indeed, assuming a resumption of at least two meetings a day from June, we will be absolutely fine: bloodied, but well able to continue.
At this point nobody knows when things will be back but there is some guarded optimism from BHA that racing could return somewhere between mid- and late May.
The rough timeline of concern here at geegeez.co.uk is as follows:
May resumption - all good
June resumption - all OK
July resumption - all OK
August resumption - just about OK
September resumption - concerning
October resumption - in trouble
The reality is that if we're not racing by June, some racecourses may go under as well as, quite possibly, a fair number of trainers. There is, then, a strong desire both inside racing and in the corridors of Parliament to see the industry (along with hundreds of other industries of course) sustain the least damage possible whilst contributing appropriately to the national and international efforts to combat the pandemic.
That's a verbose way of saying that others - some of them sizeable entities - will be in trouble long before geegeez.co.uk as things stand. For information, the betting on which month will see UK racing resume looks like this:
Although the overround on this - granted, novelty - market is a crippling 23.75%, there is still an implied 75% chance of racing returning before June is out (after normalising the overround to make a 100% book).
We remain in the realms of art more than science in trying to establish what next, but there are plenty of grounds to be cautiously hopeful for a late May/early June restart, perhaps earlier – though that would be best case.
If you've been wondering about geegeez.co.uk (thank you), or about racing's return more generally (me too!), I hope the above adds some colour to the situation.
In all bar a disaster scenario - the ramifications of which would render the loss of a little racing website trivial in the extreme - we'll be back better than ever before the longest day of the year.
Thank you again for your loyalty and ongoing support during what is a trying time for just about all of us.
Until next time, wishing you good health,