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AFL is rocked by mass jobs cuts in the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic

The AFL has announced 20 per cent of jobs will go under a restructure of the league from COVID-19.

CEO Gillon Mclachlan revealed the changes in a video conference to staff on Monday morning, with the game expected to lose $400million from the pandemic.

League heavyweights including Head of AFL Media Darren Birch, commercial manager Ben Sellenger and executive member Ken Wood were announced to be leaving the organisation.

Fellow executives Ray Gunston and Patrick Keane have stepped down into a consulting role and office of CEO respectively, while former Kangaroos coach Brad Scott has become head of AFL Victoria.

The restructure will integrate the AFL’s national and state entities to focus on rebuilding financial strength and invest in the fan experience, technology and community football.

The changes have been made to make the AFL more ‘agile’ and will come into effect on November 1.

McLachlan said it was an incredibly difficult time for the league. 

‘The reality is that we will lose talented, committed, passionate football people from our organisation and that is incredibly difficult, but this pandemic has forced every business, every family and every individual to take steps that no one had planned,’ he said.

‘The necessity of operating differently during the pandemic, along with experiencing a reduction in revenue, has forced us to explore and understand what we can do differently and what we are capable of, and also what we need to continue to achieve to keep the industry strong. I am very grateful for all those who have worked tirelessly to ensure our successful return to play.

‘The challenge is far from over and we will continue to be flexible in how we respond but it was important to take decisive action now to re-set our focus, our model of operating and our expectations. 

‘For our industry and game to emerge stronger from this ongoing Covid-19 challenge and the increased uncertainty we face over coming years, we need to significantly change our business model for not only the AFL but the wider football community.’

The announcement follows on from about 80 per cent of staff being stood down amid the rise of COVID-19 in March.

Many employees were told they would need to reapply for their positions.

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