Football Federation Australia (FFA) has stood down approximately 70 per cent of its staff in a bid to save money amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus has brought sport to a standstill around the world, with the A-League season having been suspended on Tuesday.
FFA announced on Friday it was standing down most of its staff due to the financial impact of coronavirus.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but necessary to stabilise the organisation so that it can continue to service the game, albeit in a vastly different landscape,” FFA chief executive James Johnson said in a statement.
“Industries all over the world have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and football in Australia is no different.
“We are in a situation where grassroots football and the Hyundai A-League are currently suspended, we’ve had the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the deferral of the international football calendar, so virtually all football activity has now ceased for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19.
“These developments impact many forms of revenue for FFA, including national registration fees, broadcast fees, sponsorship, ticket sales and government funding, so we have needed to adjust our operations to ensure that we can remain operational, forcing us to take the unfortunate decision to stand down approximately 70 per cent of our workforce.
Football Federation Australia today announced that it has made the regrettable decision to stand-down approximately 70 per cent of its staff due to the fallout from the #COVID19 pandemic. https://t.co/jCkuH7x3r4
— Football Federation Australia (@FFA) March 27, 2020
“We have an incredible team here at FFA, and I am immensely proud of the work everyone does for football in this country. We have explored ways to retain as many staff as possible, including reducing essential roles to part-time, and asking staff to take annual leave and long service leave. Unfortunately, a number of staff members will have a period of leave without pay.
“We will continue to operate with a small team, with a focus on continual engagement with fans through digital platforms, supporting our member federations, clubs and the almost two million football participants in this country.
“I also believe that football has a very important role to play as a good and responsible citizen during these difficult times so we are looking at how we can contribute to our collective efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
“We view this as a temporary stoppage of football. We will be continually reviewing the situation and the impact of COVID-19 on grassroots football and the remainder of the Hyundai A-League season. We need a strong national governing body in place and a team ready and able to get back to work as soon as possible, as football will play an essential role in the recovery of our nation post COVID-19.”
There have been more than 531,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, with over 24,000 deaths.
Australia has seen more than 3,000 cases, including 13 deaths.