We write to you today as part of our commitment to keep you informed of the club and the AFL’s response to the current issues regarding COVID-19.
We are preparing for Round 1 of the AFL season to begin this Sunday, and the AFLW season to continue, but we are also aware there is potential for these competitions to be postponed at any time.
We are supportive of the AFL’s process for making such decisions, which is based on the advice of experts and industry-wide consultation. Late yesterday, the AFL outlined plans for a reduced 17-round season.
A 17-round fixture ensures every team plays each other once but also allows for flexibility to reschedule games across the duration of the year if needed. Importantly, the industry is committed to completing a season in 2020.
For everyone involved in football, from our members to our players and coaches, this is an unprecedented situation and we are still working to understand the full impact. But as much as we all love the Saints and the game itself, we know that football pails in significance to the impact this is having on the community.
Our thoughts are very much with our supporters who are all confronting unprecedented measures to reduce the spread of infection. You and your family’s well-being will always be our number one concern.
We have already been inundated with members pledging their support and I can’t tell you how uplifting this has been for our players, coaches and staff.
While access to RSEA Park is limited to our Football Department, our phone lines remain open and members can still email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not yet have all of the answers that members are seeking, but we are here to listen.
We also encourage our members to engage with the club on our digital and social channels. Today, Jack Billings and Jarryn Geary spoke directly to fans directly through Facebook and we will continue to provide as much access and up to date information as possible.
Members will be the heartbeat of our club as we look to overcome the many challenges we will face in the coming months.
We know that there will be questions as to how the club will deliver for you with a reduced season that could be postponed. Rest assured, the club is considering every option, and we ask for your understanding and patience as we work through these.
There is no escaping the changes to the season will hit the club hard, but resilience and a shared sense of purpose have always been the hallmarks of St Kilda.
Strength through Loyalty is more than just a motto, it’s the foundation of our football club that dates back 147 years.
It’s now more important than ever before.
Look after one another.