Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves has penned the following letter to members...


Dear members, 

The past 48 hours have undoubtedly been some of the toughest times our community and our football club has faced. 
The impact of the decision to postpone the 2020 season is significant, not just for Hawthorn, but the entire football industry. 
However, we understand that our whole nation is hurting. People all over our country are being affected by the ramifications of Covid-19 and we must remember to think with a “we” not an “I” mentality at this time.
As Jeff communicated yesterday, we have had to move quickly since Sunday’s decision, to ensure the club’s survival in these uncertain times.
I want to be as transparent as possible with you all regarding the measures and difficult decisions we have had to make over the past 24 hours.
Yesterday, we moved to a condensed operating structure. As a result, we heartbreakingly moved to stand down more than 60% of our staff for the proposed shut down period. This was an incredibly hard, but necessary thing to do. Our people are at the core of everything we do, and they pour so much of themselves into our footy club. The way in which they handled yesterday’s decision only highlighted their calibre as people and I would like to publicly thank each and every one of them for the support, understanding and the compassion they displayed. 
Any staff member who has been stood down will receive 10 days of gifted leave, as well as the opportunity to access annual or long service leave during this period. 
For the remaining skeleton staff who will continue to steer the ship during the next few months, they will do so at a heavily reduced salary. We thank them too for their leadership, support and commitment. 
Understandably, Sunday’s decision to suspend the 2020 AFL season brings with it many questions for you, our members. 
Our team is currently working through this and we will be continuing to keep in touch with you directly over the coming days and weeks. We are working together to develop an industry plan across all aspects of our game in response to the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. 
Our players and staff are working together to provide more content than ever before through our many social channels including our website, Instagram and twitter. If you have some time, check them out, it is a refreshing change of pace during a very difficult time.
As a football club we have faced many challenges throughout our history, but we are a family and together we will work through our challenges, and together we will come out the other side. 
Football is an integral part of our culture and provides a place for people to call home. We are committed to ensuring that we stay connected to our members and fans while we take the necessary break from play. Rest assured we will use all available channels to ensure we remain in touch over the next couple of months.
Our club and our industry cannot afford to dwell too long on the disappointment we all feel in the face of this decision, we must turn our thoughts and efforts to the future. 
What is most important now is that we all focus on our health and safety, heed the advice of our government and medical experts and play our role as we tackle this challenge as a nation. 
We would like to thank you, our ever-faithful brown and gold family for your understanding, compassion and continued engagement with our club as we navigate these unchartered waters. 
Stay safe and take care,

Justin Reeves
Chief Executive Officer
Hawthorn Football Club