To our Purple Army,

I wanted to touch base with you again following my email on Friday and the AFL’s announcement on returning to train and play.

We are delighted that our players are back training and will soon be playing the game we all love. The information released by the AFL last week means we can provide you with some clarity about how the format of the season will affect your membership entitlements and what options are available to support the club.

Tomorrow we will launch the Club’s Forever Project - a call to arms and a way for passionate Fremantle people to help secure the Club’s future.

Our members will be sent email communications tomorrow outlining the options for their 2020 membership, as well as the reveal of something MEGA for those who are able to support the club.

The distribution of these emails will be staggered throughout the day to ensure a stable flow of traffic to the website and avoid any site congestion or timeouts. We appreciate your patience as we get all this information out to you tomorrow as effectively as possible.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Forever Project release, it is important you have further insight into the Club’s financial situation.

It is our intention to avoid seeking funding assistance from the AFL for as long as we can.

Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, Fremantle was one of a handful of clubs that was debt-free and held cash reserves.

Whilst the reality is we will need some sort of debt funding to get through this crisis, the aim is to emerge with as little debt as possible.

The majority of the Club’s commercial revenue is heavily reliant on matches being played at Optus Stadium before crowds of passionate Fremantle members and supporters.

Even though the season is set to resume on 11 June 2020 the prospect of playing in front of a packed Optus Stadium has evaporated.

So too has a significant portion of our revenue forecast.

In 2020, the club had planned to generate approximately $60 million in revenue, with 75 per cent of it coming from memberships, match day ticket sales, match day hospitality and sponsorship.

The situation the game finds itself in is no one’s fault.

The harsh reality however is that without those revenue streams the financial sustainability of our Club and our great game is in peril.

We believe the options that will be presented to members tomorrow as part of our Forever Project will provide a compelling case for people to support the club if they can, while we also empathise with the many wonderful members whose financial situation doesn’t allow for that.

The level of support the Forever Project receives from our members and supporters, or put simply every dollar of 2020 membership revenue we can retain, could mean the difference between the Club being saddled with millions of dollars of debt for years, or a much lesser figure that, with prudent and responsible management, would not impede our pathway to sustained success.

Our Club is so fortunate to have a world class sporting arena in Optus Stadium as its home ground, which when packed out by the purple army provides a strong financial base for us to rebuild from.

The Club is represented by a young and talented playing group led by senior coach Justin Longmuir, general manager of football Peter Bell and dual Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe, who are all more determined than ever to deliver the Club’s first AFL premiership.

And the dominant AFLW team of the 2020 season, who are equally driven to achieve the ultimate success with senior coach Trent Cooper and captain Kara Antonio at the helm.

It also includes a board, executive team and entire staff group that is united and heavily committed to ensuring our Club emerges from the biggest challenge in the game’s history stronger and financially secure.

But the very reason we exist as a Club and, hopefully continue to thrive, is you, our members - the very lifeblood of the Fremantle Dockers.

Throughout our 26-year history, our passionate members and supporters have enjoyed the ups and endured the downs, but regardless have always remained loyal and stood by the Club.

We look forward to that support continuing for a long time to come, which will ensure that we are FOREVER FREO!

Thank you again for your patience, understanding and support.

As always, please take care and do everything you can to ensure those near and dear to you remain healthy and safe.

Simon Garlick