Broncos set for heartbreaking staff lay-offs

 

The Brisbane Broncos will lay-off a significant number of staff as the club braces for a hit to a $16 million revenue stream amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Courier-Mail understands the Broncos will on Tuesday begin the cost-cutting process as they fight to stay alive in the NRL.

The club is expected to ask some staff to take leave entitlements while others are facing redundancies or being stood down from its $22 million payroll, after the Broncos revealed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would be "material" to the $52 million NRL powerhouse.

Brisbane CEO Paul White has some hard conversations ahead. Photo: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Brisbane CEO Paul White has some hard conversations ahead. Photo: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

The Broncos recorded $16m in revenue from membership, ticketing, corporate sales and game day last year.

That revenue stream will be severely impacted with the NRL forced to play in empty stadiums for as long as the 2020 premiership continues.

In a statement to the ASX, the publicly-listed company, majority-owned by News Corporation - publishers of The Courier-Mail, announced it had commenced "cost saving initiatives".

"The board advise that the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 revenue and profit results of the Brisbane Broncos Group will be material," the statement read.

"Given the constantly evolving nature and heightened uncertainty of the situation, it is not possible to forecast with accuracy the quantum of the financial effect on the Group or the time frame for recovery at this stage.

"The board and management's immediate priority is to identify and implement cost saving initiatives to mitigate the impact as much as possible."

The club will be hurting like the rest of the country. Photo: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter
The club will be hurting like the rest of the country. Photo: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter

The Broncos have grown into the NRL's richest club, recording a $2.3 million profit last year under CEO Paul White and boasting $14.9 million in the bank.

But with close to 100 staff, the club's bottom line will be severely impacted by the lack of game day related revenue, its biggest revenue stream, which is among the highest in the NRL.

The NRL on Monday stood down the majority of its staff until at least May 1.

The Gold Coast Titans are understood to have begun the process of asking staff to take leave to ease the financial burden on the club.

Originally published as Broncos set for heartbreaking staff lay-offs