Fears of North Melbourne’s long term survival are not necessary, according to club CEO, Ben Amarfio.
The Kangaroos have a low debt level going into the COVID-19 shutdown and already run a relatively lean operation.
“I know a lot of people try to speak on our behalf sometimes, but we are very fortunate. If this had been nine years ago it might be a different case,” he told SEN’s Gerard Whateley.
“Over the last nine years, this club through its board and its management team and previous CEO’s ,have done an amazing job of reducing nine million dollars of debt and effectively wiping it over that nine years.
“So we go into this with $650,000 of debt so we are financially in a very strong position.
“We know that the landscape has changed enormously and we know that the AFL is doing an amazing job of trying to ensure that all the clubs are a going concern. We will all be taking huge loans off the back of this, some clubs have some cash reserves, but some huge debt awaits on the other side of this, but we’re lucky we’re starting from a zero-start in that respect.
“(North Melbourne) will get through. This is a club that has endured big crisis’ before.
“The club is amazingly resilient. It’s made of tough stuff. The people who are at the club and those who have been connected with the club for many years are all standing by the club.
“We will get through this. There will be pain on the way through and there will be debt waiting for us on the other side, but I have every confidence in the club and the people around the club and our supporters, our backers and I have enormous faith in the AFL themselves.”
Amarfio said 77 per cent of North’s staff were stood down yesterday ahead of the two-month lockdown period.
However the club hopes to bring them all back once the crisis ends.
“Hopefully that’s not the case (that we lose any staff),” he said.
“Our hope is and what we told our staff is our intention is to bring everyone back when the suspension is lifted and we hope and we hope the suspension is lifted at the end of May, but who knows it’s all dependant upon the spread of this damn virus.”