Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko.
Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko.

Lions stand down 90 per cent of staff in 24 hours

Brisbane CEO Greg Swann says coronavirus is hitting society "like a wrecking ball" and the Lions had not been spared with 90 percent of staff being stood down.

Swann stressed that Brisbane were not crying poor or playing the victim as many people around the world had been impacted by COVID-19 far more greatly than the Lions.

Brisbane have been reduced to a "skeleton staff" across all departments with the AFL suspending its competition until May 31.

"We stood down 90 per cent of our staff and the people remaining will keep the place ticking over,'' he said.

 

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"The players have gone away for a month. They are not allowed into the club, not allowed to come in for treatment or go to the gym so they are all at home.

"We'll re-assess in a month's time and see where it all lands.''

Swann said informing his staff they had been stood down was the toughest thing he has had to do in his working life.

"The whole club is very tight-knit and I'm sure that is the same for other businesses that are hurting as well,'' he said.

"It's heart-breaking when you have to stand people down and it is not because of their performance.

"The virus has been like a wrecking ball that has had a massive impact around the world and we are affected too as a club and as a competition.''

Swann said the drastic measures would help Brisbane weather the financial storm of the coronavirus for a period of time.

"On the basis that we have the skeleton staff in place, we will have enough funding to keep functioning. It depends how long it lasts for, nobody can be sure how long it will go for at the moment so we just have to wait and see,'' he said.

Swann said last week that Brisbane would take a $5million hit in gate takings if there was no football played in front of crowds at the Gabba this year.

Brisbane are coming off a $648,618 profit in 2019 - the club's first in 12 years - after their run into last season's AFL finals.

The Lions were set for another bumper year with new sponsors coming on board, an influx of members and a number of prime time blockbusters in the original fixture.

Originally published as Lions stand down 90 per cent of staff in 24 hours


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