As well as Marvel Stadium potentially being used to securitise loans, the AFL are considering using club assets in their pitch to banks – some clubs have cash reserves, gaming venues and in Richmond’s case a gymnasium business – that could buttress the AFL’s security with banks.
The AFL needs to show the banks – one of which is their banker, the NAB – that they are serious about cost reductions given the massive drop-off in revenue, which has become alarming after their broadcaster Channel Seven informed the Australian Stock Exchange that postponement is ‘‘likely to result in rights payments by Seven West Media being pushed back to reflect the revised scheduling [yet] any adjustments remain subject to negotiation.’’
Not every club has the same skeleton staff, with Port Adelaide, who have more than 50 players and staff in 14-day self-isolation because of interstate travel back to South Australia, prioritising senior staff who run conditioning, welfare and medical areas.
The stand-down of about 80 per cent of club staff has seen virtually all assistant coaches, recruiters and most conditioning staff benched with little or no pay, leaving a skeleton staff that usually includes the senior coach, football manager and the club doctor, with the conditioning boss, welfare manager and operations manager.
The Brisbane Lions are considering rotating the five or six positions of the skeleton operation, to ensure that more of their staff keep getting paid in what are grim times for club employees.
While there is broad agreement that the game needs to pull together and rich clubs have accepted the same austerity measures as poorer clubs, there is some differences of opinion within club land about how the AFL should share the inevitable downsizing of the competition and whether those reductions should be worn equally.
Club football managers have been working collaboratively, sharing ideas and methods of navigating their way through the crisis on WhatsApp to minimise the impact on individuals as much as possible, with all readily accepting that this is not a time for clubs to seek a competitive advantage.
with Anthony Colangelo