The FA cuts jobs as losses hit £300m, Wembley events cancelled and sponsors rebated

FA logo on Wembley

June 30 – Staff at the English FA have been left shocked by the announcement of more than 100 job losses due to the “significant impact” of coronavirus.

A total of 124 redundancies have been made directly in response to the estimated £300 million losses caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

In April senior staff members, including the England manager Gareth Southgate, agreed to take large pay reductions in a bid to address losses in revenue.

But in a strongly worded statement on the FA’s official website chief executive Mark Bullingham highlighted how desperate the situation had become.

“It might seem that football has weathered the storm by getting the top flight men’s game playing again,” he wrote. “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 £300 million. As a not-for-profit organisation, this will hit us hard.”

In order to mitigate the damages of Covid-19 Bullingham said the FA had identified “the most suitable areas to make cost savings”, resulting in staff lay-offs and restructuring.

“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.”

The FA’s sponsorship revenue has taken a huge hit and Bullingham said the organisation has had to pay some partners compensation as a result of not fulfilling contract obligations.  All events due to be held at Wembley Stadium since March have been unable to go ahead, while all future bookings for the year – which include concerts and NFL matches – have had to be scrapped.

“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,” said Bullingham. 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.”

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