Dear Members and supporters,
Hope you are well.
My note to you last Friday announced that the AFL season would commence as planned, but that the games would be played behind closed doors.
Much has happened since then.
Earlier this week the AFL announced a revised 17-game 2020 fixture, while the SANFL confirmed their season will be postponed until June.
Sporting codes all around the world are considering the best, most responsible way to proceed in these difficult circumstances.
Our planning to date has been based around the assumption that the season will commence as scheduled, and that we will find a way to complete it, even if that means extending beyond September and being creative with the fixturing. We will continue on this path, until advised otherwise.
With this in mind, our focus has been largely on ensuring that the team have all that they need to compete in a safe environment. Hygiene protocols are extremely high. Virtually all external interaction with the team has ceased. We are exploring the use of charter planes to transport them to games, and will be providing a highly controlled environment for them to operate in within the hotel that they will be staying at.
If it seems a little extreme, get used to it! This is our new normal for the foreseeable future.
We expect the controls around mass gatherings will continue to tighten.
With all that in mind, we are still working through how this will impact you, your membership, our corporate partners and everyone else associated with the club.
The reality is that the coronavirus is having, and will continue to have for some time, a profound impact on all aspects of the club. This season will be unlike any season of football we’ve ever had.
I want to assure you that as we consider every new twist and turn in this complex saga, our members and partners are at the forefront of our thinking.
For example, we have spent the last few days creating new ways of generating video content from within the team’s quarantine zone. We will be providing you with access to areas of the team’s preparation that you have never had before. We figure, if you can’t watch the footy live at the ground, the least we can do is load you up with brilliant new content to keep you fully informed and entertained.
Similarly with our partners. If games days are out, we are thinking about how we can connect you to our team, members and supporters in other ways.
There are a lot of interesting ideas being developed which we will share with you soon, but at the heart of our thinking is that we all need to support each other through these unusual times. Every business and individual is being affected by this virus in some way, let’s help each other through it.
I’ve got to say that we have been amazed by the resilience and support already shown by the Port Adelaide family. Every day we are receiving notes of encouragement.
On Monday I received a personal note from the CEO of MG Motor, reassuring me that they will stand by the Port Adelaide family through these challenging times…wishing us all to stay healthy and well. Very reassuring from our newest partner.
We received a full membership renewal from a lapsed member who decided to put aside his uncertainty about the team’s performance, simply to support the club through this difficult time.
And I received a beautiful note from a supporter who happened to be standing in a supermarket check out line, and witnessed one of our young players silently pay for the groceries of a person who was clearly trying to stock up for a period of lockdown, but couldn’t afford to. No fuss, no fanfare, no recognition. I could not have been prouder.
We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.
The reality is we don’t know when and where this will end.
What I do know is that when challenged the Port Adelaide family always stick together.
We always find a way and this will be no different.
The bond between our players and our members is special, and is critical to our club. The players thrive off your passion, so please keep that coming.
Our membership team will continue to operate during normal business hours and will be available to answer any specific queries relating to your membership. You can contact them on 1300 467 232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone at the club will play their role and together we will get through this. Our board, staff, players and volunteers are all working incredibly hard to make the best out of this difficult situation.
Thank you again for your support as a member. You are the cornerstone of our club.
On behalf of everyone at the club, including all our players and staff, please take care of yourselves and those around you and we look forward to having you back at the Adelaide Oval again soon.