PORT ADELAIDE CEO Keith Thomas is resigned to the fact that the club’s 150th anniversary will forever be associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, but he says there is still plenty to celebrate.
The club came into 2020 with a strong and healthy playing list, and with plans for a number of ways to celebrate its 150th.
With the season now on hold and players who featured in the Power’s 47-point Round 1 win over Gold Coast in self isolation, the man who helped rescue the club from financial ruin in 2012 is now facing an even bigger challenge.
“This (virus) is an incredible exercise in completely undermining every aspect of the industry that you’re in – and we’re not the only industry that’s affected,” Thomas explained on Adelaide radio on Monday evening.
“It’s actually undermining life as we know it and that’s having a profound effect on the business models, let alone the health side of things.
“The difference (between 2012 and now) is that we’ve got a highly functional footy club ready to go pretty well – but we’re being prevented that opportunity.
“We know that we’ll pass through that and when it happens, we’ll come out strongly.”
Thomas said he was determined to help the club navigate its way through the pandemic despite already announcing he would end his time as CEO at the end of the 2020 season.
He said his first priority was the health and safety of staff and players, and then ensuring that the club survives.
But he said there was something to salvage from the year already, with the way many of the 150th celebration initiatives have been carried out so far.
“I think we’ve had four fantastic moments that we’re going to end up cherishing,” Thomas said positively.
“We’ve had the release of our new logo, we had a gala dinner which was a spectacular evening, we’ve had the documentary that we released just recently and then we got on the track and we had a win.
“The reality is that our 150th anniversary will forever be associated with this global health crisis, however, we’re hoping, and we’re very determined as an industry, to complete the season one way or another later in the year and hopefully it’ll all make some sense then but right now our 150th is about survival and we can’t dwell on the fact that we’re pissed off and don’t get the opportunity to do what we’d planned
“We’re pleased that we were able to execute some things – and the other things we’re developing is the book that will be remarkable.”
Thomas finished with more positivity, explaining to Port Adelaide people that there is still much to look forward to.
“The other thing I’d say is our fantastic members who want to help wherever they can, they’re going to spend a lot of time delving into the Port Adelaide reservoir of historical footage and data that we’ve collected as part of the 150th, and we’re going to make that a celebration, whether we’re playing of not,” he said.
“We can look forward to that.”