Two of the three away games the Bulls have played this season have been live streamed due to Covid-19 restrictions preventing them from playing at Springfield. This has given fans the opportunity to watch games in local pubs or on their devices at home.
The team rely on a matchday sponsor each week to provide £500 to cover half the streaming cost, the other half is made up from pay-per-views and pub licensing costs.
Last weekend’s game against Fleet Spurs was not streamed due to a lack of sponsorship and a group of fans took it upon themselves to raise the money for this weekend’s game, which is yet to be confirmed as a Friday night or Saturday fixture.
Matthew Dyer who had a helping hand in starting the GoFundMe page said he could not believe the response from the fans who raised the £500 in less than 24 hours.
‘It is amazing to see that a loyal fan base which was formed not so long ago can back their team. We love watching the Bulls and we were really keen to secure a stream since we missed out last weekend.’
He added: ‘I don’t think we would be able to do it week in week out but I am sure if we aren’t getting our regular Bulls fix we could get the money together to support the team.’
Dyer, along with Adie Viccars and Dave Bonnar came up with fundraising idea and are also responsible for starting up the Jersey Bulls Fan Zone page where fans can interact with each other and arrange to meet and watch the game.
Reflecting on the success of the page Dyer said: ‘The page was built for fan interaction and it is a good way of showing the Bulls players and hierarchy that we’re behind them and supporting them even if we cannot get to Springfield to watch them.’
Ian Horswell, Jersey Bulls director said the club is eternally grateful for the touching gesture from their fan base and has ensured the players will do their utmost to re-pay them with a win this weekend.
He added: ‘The streams so far have been well received but they are expensive to put on and it would not be financially sustainable for us to cover the costs each week. We rely on a match day sponsor each week and we really appreciate the fans pulling together and supporting us when others are unable to.’
Horswell said the club are looking to obtain a permanent broadcast partner but due to the uncertainty of the season nothing concrete has been confirmed.
‘This season is being played on a week to week basis but once the situation becomes more stable we would hope to get a full time partner so we could stream home games if there is attendance restrictions at Springfield. We are also looking at improving the stream and offering our fans greater content with features like half time analysis and post match interviews.’
He added: ‘The fan base has grown so much in the last year and we just want to do all that we can to keep them involved through such a difficult time.’