To the Adelaide United family,
There is no manual on how to deal with a situation like this. It has been a real test, not only for our Club but for everyone in this country.
As you probably understand, the COVID-19 Pandemic has meant that all clubs, like all Australian businesses, are facing unprecedented economic challenges which has put us under severe financial strain. We are therefore working through specific decisions that have to be made to best preserve the Club’s future and that of the professional game in Australia.
While we as owners are remaining positive and doing what we can for our Club to get through this crisis, be assured that our number one priority is to continue to play a key role within the South Australian football community. As is occurring worldwide, the Club will take a hit, a financial hit that may take years to recover, but we will survive.
This is not an ideal situation for anybody. We are working together as a Club to get through this, but despite circumstances beyond our control, we regrettably, have had to today reduce our administration staff by 80% for the immediate future. Luckily, all were able to take some form of leave, but it was still a tough decision to make. The players and football staff are all safe at home with their families and we will reassess the situation on 22 April. I have been in football for many years and this was one of my hardest decisions to date, but sadly, there was no other viable choice, and I am sure you can relate to similar situations in your own lives and workplaces. If and when the season is able to resume, they will all be ready and able to compete for the Club we all love.
We will continue to provide our employees regular advice from the Government support packages and how they can benefit from them all. This is not an ideal situation for anybody; indeed, we recognise it is a time of great anxiety and stress for so many people. I do, want you all to know, that we have taken these extraordinary measures to make sure we are back singing amongst a sea of red at Coopers Stadium.
Our office is closed while a select staff are still in full operation, working from home, focusing on continual engagement with our fans through digital channels, supporting our members and corporate partners. I encourage you to keep a close eye on all our channels as we continue to service the wider Adelaide United community.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank every one of the Adelaide United team who has gone above and beyond over the past few weeks to make sure we find a way through what is an unforgettable time.
To our members, you are what keeps us going, you are the lifeblood of our Club. We provided you all with an update last Thursday as we work towards the re-assessment of the status of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Wednesday 22 April. As mentioned, the goal, at this stage, is to reschedule games as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so in order to complete the season.
In spite of all this, what we do know, and have said on numerous occasions, we as a Club have some of the most committed and passionate members and fans. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through the complex issues that COVID-19 presents for our Club and wider community. What I can promise you, is that once we get through this crisis, we will have a Club that will be South Australian proud.
Finally, while football is important, I want to pay particular thanks to the extraordinary people in our health services working at the frontline of this crisis. When we do play again, they can all be assured of a special welcome from the State’s football community and the Adelaide united family.
Please be careful, please be safe and please stay at home.
Staying United, will bring us back together.
Piet van der Pol