PORT ADELAIDE Chief Executive Officer Matthew Richardson has promised to keep putting members and supporters first, despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season.
Club leaders met this week to discuss how the industry is placed after the COVID-19 impacted 2020 campaign.
The AFL has announced the 2021 season will start on March 18, with a return to the full 22 round season, and is considering a rolling fixture with a few games announced every few weeks.
Mr Richardson explained there was still so much unknown around 2021 including whether there would be further COVID restrictions on players and football department staff, whether interstate travel would be allowed and how many people would be allowed into games.
“When you’re trying to plan any business when you don’t know what you’re looking at in five or six months-time, that’s a challenge,” he said during an interview with Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.
“You’ve just got to do your best to be able to do that.
“Sitting here right now we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get 30,000 people at our games at Adelaide Oval and we’re working on that basis.
“Hopefully that’s absolutely what happens but at the same time you have to be prepared – and I think that’s what the AFL and clubs have done this year.”
Mr Richardson said all clubs were trying to do their bit by cutting costs while ensuring the game remained strong.
And he thanked Port Adelaide members for their unwavering support.
“I think everyone understands where the industry is at and the only way everyone is going to come through this is if we all do our bit,” he said.
“Our cost bases have reduced to a point where the cost base can’t go any lower so hopefully there’s uptake from that as we start getting into 2021.
“We have to be really prudent with how we plan and what we’ve experienced from our members and our partners is incredible support.
“They’re really bullish about what 2021 looks like on-field and our renewals are reflecting that.”
Mr Richardson promised to be open and transparent with members and supporters around the latest developments in the industry, as the club did in 2020.
“Our members have been terrific in the way that they’ve responded to us,” he said.
“We’ll just keep being really transparent and provide them with all the information that we possibly can.
“Our approach will be to continue to be really transparent and put our members and supporters first.”