The Football Association’s (FA) chief executive Mark Bullingham has announced that the organisation is set to lose £300m and make 124 positions redundant as a result of the global health pandemic.
In a strongly worded statement on the FA’s official website the chief executive highlighted that the ‘high level of uncertainty in our landscape’ has resulted in the body having to potentially prepare for any footballing scenario.
Bullingham stated: “It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top flight men’s game playing again. However, unfortunately the past few months have impacted The FA severely and we have lost a significant amount of money that we can never recoup. We also anticipate that many of our future revenue streams will be affected for a considerable time.
“The high level of uncertainty in our landscape means that we have had to plan for a whole range of potential scenarios. As previously communicated, we are currently planning for potential losses of approximately £300m. As a not-for-profit organisation, this will hit us hard.”
England’s football governing body has lost a lot of revenue during the coronavirus outbreak, as have many other industries, with the FA having to cancel its Wembley events and the ongoing uncertainty of the footballing landscape at various levels of play. The FA has announced that the organisation’s hospitality revenue for the national stadium, which amounts to £35m per year, has been severely impacted and will take ‘years to recover’.
In order to mitigate the damages of COVID-19 Bullingham mentioned that the FA has identified ‘the most suitable areas to make cost savings’, resulting in staff lay-offs and restructuring.
The chief executive added: “Today we are proposing to make 124 positions redundant. Because we halted recruitment the day we left the offices in March, we are able to take 42 vacant positions out of the structure, which means that we are proposing to remove 82 roles from the organisation.
“We recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for those employees who have been affected by these proposals and we will do everything we can to support them during a consultation period, which will start soon.
“Proposing redundancies is the toughest cost-saving measure that any organisation can consider implementing, but we believe that we must now adapt and future-proof the organisation to ensure our cost base reflects a future with significantly lower revenues.”
Additionally, the FA’s sponsorship revenue has taken a huge hit due to the cancelation and suspension of English football. In some cases Bullingham noted that the FA has had to pay some partners compensation as a result of not fulfilling contract obligation.
He concluded: “The reality we are faced with is that no one knows the future and I believe that the money we have already lost, combined with the uncertainty of the coming months, means that we need to consider these proposals to avoid making matters worse in time. Going through this process now, as difficult as it is for all of us, means that in our worst-case scenarios we should still be able to overcome them and not need to repeat this exercise next year.
“The next few weeks will be very tough for everyone at The FA and our aim is to ensure that we emerge in the strongest possible state and be ready for better times in the future.”