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Football Federation Australia ‘stands down’ 70 per cent of workforce

FFA chief executive James Johnson (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Football Federation Australia has announced that it has taken the “regrettable decision” to stand down 70 per cent of its workforce in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The figure equates to roughly 70 employees who have been asked to  switch to part-time, take paid leave or forced to take time off without pay.

The remainder of the organisation’s 100 staff will be kept on in order to oversee the core functions of the business, focusing on government relations, financial and legal matters, and communications, with the FFA still keen to engage its fanbase through digital platforms. 

No bonuses will be paid to staff throughout this time, though there was also no mention of either executive staff or players taking pay cuts. 

Australia’s A-League was one of the last top-level competitions to stop playing, with games continuing until last week. While the division is now independent, following its spinning off from the FFA last year, the two companies’ commercial revenues in particular are still intertwined, and the shutdown will inevitably hit broadcast and sponsorship income particularly hard. 

FFA chief executive James Johnson said: “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.

“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.”

In recent days, the Endeavour group laid off 250 staff and the National Hockey League enforced temporary pay cuts on its staff. Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils ownership group HBSE, meanwhile, recently u-turned on its own decision to cut staff’s pay throughout the shutdown, confirming that it would be paying its staff in full for the foreseeable future.