North Melbourne CEO, Ben Amarfio, has opened up about the heartache being felt inside the football club after key staff were told their stand-down periods would need to be extended.

Under AFL rules, clubs are only allowed a limited number of people insode the football department, meaning many have been left without work.

“We can have 25 staff around the team in the facility, and physically contacting the players,” Amarfio told Triple M Hobart.

“All of this is under the auspices of keeping our football soft cap.

“We’re allowed to have a further amount of football outside of that 25, who are allowed to work but not allowed to have contact (with the players).

“That meant that we were able to bring back about 32 or 33 people in our football area, but also meant there were some people we couldn’t afford to bring back, which was awful.”

With a severely reduced headcount, Amarfio says staff will be expected to do more in order to get the team ready for the recommencement of the season on June 11.

“When you are basically taking about 30 or 40 per cent of the workforce out of the football department, everyone needs to become a generalist and dig in and do multiple roles,” he said.

Back-line coach Jared Rivers, forward-line coach Brendan Whitecross and VFL coach David Loader were key absentees when training began on Monday.

“That was one of the criteria from which the football department selected for the 25 at least, was who has the right skillset for the needs of the players, and which staff also have transferrable and multiple skills that they can do more than one job,” Amarfio added.