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Club update from CEO Dave Donaghy

A message from the CEO

Read the full letter to our members here.

Today, Storm should have been celebrating after a win last night in front of a packed AAMI Park.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Instead, the Club is finding a way to navigate through this challenging period and position us to be stronger on return - whenever that might be.

Like most households and businesses in Australia, Storm has been hit hard by the impact COVID-19 is having around the world. And like all households and businesses, we too have been working hard to find a way to look after our people.

Our staff, players, partners and members are like family which has made these last few days particularly difficult.

Storm’s current Chairman, Bart Campbell, incoming Chairman, Matt Tripp, and CEO, Dave Donaghy, addressed all staff – administration and football - on Friday afternoon via teleconference during which they announced changes to the operations of the Club.

“This past week has been the most difficult in the Club’s history,” Donaghy said.

“We have spent a considerable amount of time finding a way to preserve as many staff as possible and stripping our operational costs to save our Club.

“Regrettably, Storm has had to stand down a third of all staff from our football and administration departments and asked those remaining to take a 50% pay cut, effective immediately.

“Of those remaining on half pay, some will work full time and others part time to keep the Club progressing through this period.”

Whilst some staff have been stood down, the Board has directed that positions will be kept open with a view of them returning to work when normality resumes.

“This was not an easy decision to make but was done to give us the best possible chance of protecting the Club from even greater financial stress, to preserve jobs in the long run and to assist in the bounce-back when we get through this challenge,” Donaghy said.

“Our staff are as passionate as you are about Storm and have been unwavering in their commitment to making us the best club in the NRL.

“Our players are also finalising discussions with the NRL that will see a significant and immediate decrease in their wages, motivated by a desire to look after the club and the game.”

Donaghy said the team is focused on being ready to go when the competition resumes, knowing there will be a premiership to be chased. 

“We know people in the community are hurting, much like our staff, players and coaches. This pandemic is much bigger than our footy club, the NRL or sport more broadly,” Donaghy said. 

“But we also know this club - your club – plays a big part in your lives and why we are absolutely committed to ensuring Storm has many more years of thrilling our members and fans ahead. 

“We know we will be back and hope you will all be back with us.

“In the meantime, we all have our job to do in reducing and then removing the threat of this virus.

“We will do our best via our social and online channels to update you on the latest advice from the Government and health experts, but please continue to practice social distancing and basic hygiene matters.

“Once again, thank you for your support and understanding through this period. Take care of each other.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.