The AFL’s decision on Sunday to postpone the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season until at least 31 May due to Covid-19 is unprecedented and requires an unprecedented response.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan warned a further postponement could follow, depending on a review of the situation at the end of April.
As a result, our AFL training program has temporarily ceased, as we work with the AFL on the best way to manage our players during the postponement period.
The AFL Commission also ruled that the NAB AFL Women’s 2020 season would cease immediately, ending the prospect of Fremantle’s AFLW team playing in a grand final.
It was a devastating outcome for our girls, who were undefeated all season.
Our captain Kara Antonio delivered an emotive video message this afternoon, which can be viewed here.
To coach Trent Cooper and the team, we can’t begin to imagine how gutted you must feel to have your impeccable 2020 record end this way. Your season has been incredible and you are, in our eyes, winners in every way and an inspiration to us all
Returning to Gillon’s announcement earlier today, there is no sugar coating what the potential financial implications of the decision to postpone the AFL season are, and what that means for the future of the Fremantle Dockers.
Our very survival is at stake.
We could choose to limp through what is expected to be a long and difficult recovery phase and risk stagnating for years or we can be agile and decisive as we act in the best long-term interests of the club.
Without question we choose the latter.
During the next 48-hours we, along with the other 17 clubs and the AFL, will work to determine the drastic and immediate actions required to cut costs.
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to provide more specific information at this stage.
What we can assure you is that, despite what is an evolving crisis which changes not just by the day but within hours, we are committed to working through it calmly and rationally.
We all know the tremendous affect this crisis is having on the community
The club’s ongoing and critical priority remains, as always, the health and well-being of all of our people, including that of our players, staff, volunteers, members and supporters.
As our senior coach Justin Longmuir often says, we are all in this together.
If we all stick together and support each other, we will endure and we will be a better, stronger and more resilient football club.
The messages of support we have received from our members and supporters continue to reassure and inspire our staff and playing groups.
We take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our health care workers on the front line and other relevant authorities for their selfless commitment to helping the community through this crisis.
As always, please take every care possible and do everything you can to ensure those near and dear to you remain healthy.
Simon Garlick & Dale Alcock