A Letter On Refunds

Posted: 08/26/20

Dear Gotham Family,

What a year it has been. Far from over as well. I really feel for our community during this time. We have such a dedicated group of players and teams, it's what I love about Gotham. Seems so different from a lot of the other leagues and recreational sports. Teams and players who come out to play session after session, sometimes multiple times a week. I love it. And there is no better outlet than playing your teammates week in and week out. I know a lot of you are moving away, looking for a new job, or facing other logistical and financial challenges. So it really kills me that I have to write this, but I do want to explain the position we are in regarding refunds.

When this pandemic hit, which seemed like at the time, out of absolutely nowhere, we were really rocking and rolling. We were off to our best start yet in pretty much every way possible, in all of our 7 cities, including New York. However, in the weeks leading up to the shutdown, while we had collected a lot of team and player fees, we were making necessary expenses on salaries to organize everything, advertising to, equipment, field rentals, referees for the first matches, insurance, t-shirts, and other various overhead we always have to make sure things run smoothly. We were doing everything we felt was right to not only run the league but to continue the progress we had made over the past years to keep growing the league. When the money came in from your fees, it had to go out. We were healthy and I have no regrets on any of the decisions that were made. But suddenly we shutdown, and a lot of that was wasted on expenses we can’t get back. And furthermore, we had certain expenses that we had committed to that we couldn’t reverse such as health insurance, such as hosting our website and customer databases, last bit of contractor payments, etc. And then, we had everyone demanding their money back. For good reason too, times were and remain uncertain, people have been impacted and they did not get the service they were promised this spring. Which again, I get it. I paid my team fee in full before my teammates paid me. I understood the logic. But our reality, much like the reality for our entire industry and most other small businesses left us without a fair way to redistribute what was left, and to boot, having no idea when this would be over. We were left handcuffed by the timing of this pandemic and I hate that it affects so many of you who were gracious enough to pay your fees on time, which is so important to allowing us to operate in the first place. 

I cannot express this enough- if we could get everyone their money back and erase all the damage this pandemic has left, we would do it in a heartbeat. We have not benefited in any shape or form from this. We are just making sure it doesn’t destroy what we have built over the past 15 years.

We will not be able to issue refunds this fall, even if we do operate in some of our other cities. The likelihood is this fall we will make just enough to cover the operations to host the teams that already paid and reduce our debt to teams that have paid, making it easier to do the same in the spring and ultimately get everyone their money back. We do stand by the policy to refund everyone that did not get a full spring season if they are unable to roll over their payments. And we will offer additional credits to teams willing to roll over their fees to make their money go a bit farther and allow us to focus on getting the money back to those that cannot play in the future, whatever the reason may be. 

Hopefully after this is all said and done we can still call everyone involved family and we can just play some damn footy.

Wishing everyone the best. Hang in there.

Sincerely,

Andrew