NORTH Ribblesdale chairman, Alan Simpson, thinks his club will struggle financially like everyone else, but is confident they can come through the crisis.

With the country in lockdown for over a month now, businesses have been unable to operate like usual.

This is no different for rugby clubs who cannot access their typical streams of income.

Ribb rely on revenue received from their bar and a range of sponsors who give the club their backing season after season.

The Settle-based club have also incurred additional costs in recent times with the instillation of a new pitch for their second team.

Simpson worries that sponsors may think twice when investing into sport with businesses having problems of their own.

However, the Ribblesdale chairman believes the solid platform the club has built for almost 100 years will put them in good stead.

He said: "We are managing. I think it will be tight, but we will weather the storm.

"I can’t say that anybody is in a good financial position. We haven’t sold a pint of beer for two months.

"We spent an awful lot of money last year on the improvements to the ground.

"We ploughed through it and now we have a new field and fence so things are looking good.

"The club was formed in 1923. We have got a good strong base.

"Although we don’t attract a lot of players because the geographical position that we are in. We survive because people believe in the club.

"We need to get going again. A lot of people don’t realise that us as a rugby club make money primarily from the bar and our sponsors, who we are grateful for.

"We had some great sponsorship last year and we are looking forward to hopefully do the same next season.

"I am sure it is going to be (a struggle to attract sponsors). Everyone has suffered in this pandemic, it is not just one or two.

"A lot of people are self employed and they have been sidelined so they can't earn any money. Hopefully we can get back to square one and get some money through the club."

The Rugby Football Union finalised the 2019/20 season by using a a formula based around home and away records to determine the positions of their community clubs.

Ribb, who were previously eighth in Yorkshire Two, ended up in seventh position on 59.80 points.

Simpson thinks the RFU concluded the campaign in the right way and hopes his side can continue building to possibly gain promotion next term.

He added: "We started out quite poorly, but we were coming through very well at the end and climbing the league.

"I think we would have got a little bit higher if we had played the last few matches.

"I think the season will start in September. I hope everything gets back to normal and we can carry on.

"Hopefully we can climb up the table and maybe push for promotion."