COVID-19 leaving A-League clubs on shaky ground

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With Australian football at the mercy of the COVID-19 crisis, there is no clear sign when the game will return.

The resilience of football fans may be severely tested over the upcoming months. Still, there is a bigger question mark looming over the Australian football world, will the game itself be able to survive the crisis.

The FFA have postponed the 2019/20 A-League season indefinitely with its status set to be reviewed on April 22. So how will the A-League’s eleven clubs survive the uncertainty?

With little to no income coming from sponsors, merchandise or gate takings there is no telling that they will.

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The consequences of COVID-19 is being felt among all the A-League clubs and its higher-ups.

The FFA has already stood down 70 per cent of its staff and most clubs are expected to follow the same path to make up the missing avenue.

The ripple effect will slowly make its way up to the top as club owners stop investing their income.

When, more so than if, club owners start holding tight onto their wallets until things begin to resemble some strand of normalcy it is not surprising the next step will be asking players to stand down.

Perth Glory has been the first victims of standing down with Glory owner Tony Sage asking all players to stand down without pay. Professional Footballers Australia has demanded players be immediately reinstated or will consider legal action.

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It seems that Sage has forgotten the season has only been suspended and has yet to end.

Glory is not the only team facing hardships with more than 120 players out of contract at the end of the season on May 31. If the A-League restarts beyond that deadline, it is questionable if those players will be called to finish the end of the season.

To even further complicate the situation, players such as Alessandro Diamanti and Ola Toivonen would be entitled to walk away and not finish the competition on their own accord.

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As the football community waits for any news about the game, there is one positive to remember.

Football will be back. Despite not knowing when the game will eventually return, the FFA and higher-ups will revamp the season and recover from the effects of coronavirus.

Feature Image Credit: Perth Glory 

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season
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