Media Release

Statement from SANFL

SANFL today announced that 80 per cent of the organisation’s workforce, as with so many others across Australian society, will be impacted from this week as a result of the significant financial effects of  COVID-19.

SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said measures to be undertaken were:

  • Five positions to be immediately made redundant
  • Over 50 full-time staff indefinitely stood down from their current duties from Friday, March 27
  • A freeze on filling listed vacancies, including the senior role of Head of Football Operations
  • Remaining staff to immediately have their salaries reduced by 20 per cent indefinitely, including the SANFL Executive team.

Mr Parkinson said during the stand down period, employees will be able to first access annual leave and long service leave entitlements. After this, however, employees unfortunately will be stood down without pay.

He said SANFL had already released casual staff from duties following the national decision on March 16 to postpone all State League football competitions and Talent programs until at least May 31.

“As we have seen over the past few days, the measures and restrictions to protect the health and well-being of the Australian community have had, and will continue to have, a devastating impact on many industries and, sadly, football and our people are not immune to this,” Mr Parkinson said.

“Football, along with the entire sporting industry, hospitality and tourism, has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. SANFL’s revenue comes from attendances at AFL games at Adelaide Oval and from our State League competition. These revenue streams have presently ceased, as has revenue from our hospitality operations such as the Tavern at West Lakes.

“So too have our SANFL clubs been substantially impacted as their revenue from football and licenced venues is now reduced to nil. Cost cutting measures have impacted on the employment of their players, football department and administration staff and will have a far-reaching and long-term effect on clubs.

“If there was ever a time for those supporters and members in a financial position to back their club, it was now.”

Mr Parkinson said SANFL was facing one of the biggest challenges in the League’s 143-year history and it had to find a way to ensure the future sustainability of football in this State.

“This is the toughest of days for every member of our team. They are committed and passionate about delivering footy programs and competitions across every corner of the State, from Auskick and school programs, SANFL Juniors and talent pathways, inclusive and diversity programs through to our aspirational elite men’s and women’s State Leagues,” he said.

“There is no winner today. But we must do what’s needed to keep people safe and healthy and get us through this most challenging time.

“SANFL is focussed on survival for the organisation, the SANFL clubs and affiliated leagues and clubs across the entire football community. Every club will be important to our game when we are again able to safely return to playing footy.”


For media enquiries, please contact:
Paula Brinkworth
SANFL Senior Media and Communications Advisor
0414 805 153

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