COVID-19 has had a significant impact on The FA and we now have a greater understanding of the long-term and irreversible effect of the pandemic on our finances.
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 £300million. As a not-for-profit organisation, this will hit us hard.
Therefore, over recent months, we have forensically analysed the budget of every division within The FA in order to identify the most suitable areas to make costs savings; and the situation has worsened to a point where we now need to reduce the size of The FA in order to deal with the financial impact of the crisis.
Following much consideration of the situation we find ourselves in, we have reached a position where we have formulated proposals to begin a consultation process around reducing the size of our overall team at The FA. These proposals are to reshape the organisation with the level of resource available in this smaller budget.
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.
We have a responsibility to preserve our core functions that regulate and serve English football. We also have a duty to support our men’s and women’s senior teams in their efforts to win major tournaments. That means we have set out in our proposals some difficult choices because we do not think we can afford to do all the things that we did before. We believe the impact of this crisis is to force us to focus more than ever on our key priorities.
The financial challenge we face is a significant one. We have lost all of the revenue from events at Wembley Stadium since March and all other future bookings, such as the music concerts in August and the NFL games in October. Our hospitality revenue from Wembley Stadium, which usually delivers around £35m per year, has completely fallen away and will probably take years to recover.
In addition, many of our sponsors and broadcasters have been hugely impacted by the pandemic and, in turn, we are not able to deliver the content we are committed to. This results in pressure on us financially as in some cases we need to pay compensation, for example where events are cancelled.
We do not think that it would be right to wait and see if the next few months bring greater certainty. 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.
Below is a message from our Chairman, Greg Clarke, who has provided his thoughts on today's announcement: