To our loyal Bulldogs members and fans,
We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the Club’s approach in responding to the COVID-19 virus.
What we’re all dealing with is unprecedented and it will continue to change rapidly. So, we expect you’ll hear more than one update from us over the next few weeks and throughout the season.
We’re in constant contact with the AFL and continue to take advice from the State and Federal Governments, as well as the relevant medical authorities.
To best coordinate our response to the current circumstances, the Club has created an internal committee through which we are doing our own scenario planning, including dealing with the inevitable financial consequences.
Protecting the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, members and fans is our first priority. Part of that is also doing our best as a club and as individuals to contain and delay the spread of the virus as a community, to give our health services the best possible chance to deal with the sick and to better protect the more vulnerable members of our community.
The AFL has taken the wise decision to conduct Round 1 of the AFL men’s season and Round 6 of the AFLW competition with no supporters in attendance and to limit access to those players and officials who are essential to the game being staged.
This obviously includes our home game this Sunday at the VU Whitten Oval against Fremantle and our home game against Collingwood on Friday, March 20 at Marvel Stadium. We expect that these will be the first in a series of decisions we will have to deal with this season as a club and as a community.
In difficult times, footy brings hope and happiness to people and we know that that’s an important role we can play in 2020. We are determined to play that role.
For those who’ve already signed up as members for the 2020 season, or bought tickets to our matches, we’d like to take this chance to sincerely thank you for your commitment to the Western Bulldogs.
Whatever the outcome of the 2020 AFL season, your contribution to the Club will prove to be extremely critical as we brace for what will be a significant shortfall in revenue over the next few months caused by the effects of this virus.
Having budgeted last year for another healthy profit in 2020, we now accept the reality that this virus will also bite deep into our revenues and it will add to our expenses. We have built the financial strength to endure times like these. We are going to take the hit and do our best to protect the jobs of each and every one of the fine people who work for the Western Bulldogs.
In terms of our home here at VU Whitten Oval, the Club has already enforced an indefinite restriction on patrons entering the administration offices and football areas at VU Whitten Oval.
As of tonight, Barkers Café and the Bulldog Shop will also be closed to the public, however membership inquiries can be made by calling 1300 GO DOGS, and merchandise can be purchased online.
Once again, thanks for your ongoing support of the Bulldogs, stay safe and healthy, and we’ll be in touch with further updates as soon as we can.
In 2020, we are going to show the world what it means to be more Bulldog.
Peter Gordon and Ameet Bains