Our Club hopes you and your family are safe and well during this most difficult time. I thought it appropriate to provide you with an update into the fallout from the AFL’s announcement that the home and away season was being postponed until at least May 31.
Put simply, there has never been a more difficult or challenging time for our sport. All clubs are under extraordinary financial strain due to the economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. I am sure many of you can relate to similar situations in your own personal and professional lives as well.
Our focus continues to be on the health and wellbeing of everyone in the Crows family - players, coaches, staff, members, fans and corporate partners. The players have been sent on leave, albeit with a personalised training program to ensure they maintain their level of conditioning during this period. Quite a few also took the opportunity to return home to their families interstate before border controls came into effect.
In the last 24 hours, we have also turned our attention to a series of extreme cost-cutting measures which are in line with those being implemented by the AFL and other clubs. Unfortunately, it has led to a lot of difficult and heartbreaking conversations with our dedicated staff and coaches who work so tirelessly day-to-day to ensure the Club is the best it can be. Sadly, we have had no choice but to implement stand-downs and salary cuts. Players are also experiencing uncertain times with the League currently negotiating an appropriate reduction in their remuneration with the players’ association.
The AFL has always been a demanding and brutal industry but none more so than now, with nearly 80 per cent of our workforce stood down, and it means we will be operating with a skeleton staffing structure until games are played.
I have long said the Crows family has the most passionate members and fans and many of you have expressed a fierce desire to take up the fight and ensure we emerge out the other side and return to some degree of normality. Thank you for the ongoing support!
We appreciate and respect the fact some of you may be anxious about your membership rights but rest assured we are working hard to provide you with some options. Thank you for being patient as we work through this complex and constantly moving situation. As League boss Gill McLachlan has said, we remain hopeful that a meaningful number of games will be played between now and year’s end.
In the meantime, we will continue to create and deliver lots of Crows content to you so please keep a close eye on afc.com.au and our social media channels. I will also be in touch with you as often as possible. It is a stressful and uncertain time for many in our community and I know that you will continue to show kindness and look out for each other.