Lions well-placed to handle AFL staff cuts

Chris Fagan says Brisbane’s low football department spend in recent years will position the club well to handle AFL cost-cutting measures into the future.

While many rivals will take significant hits to football staff numbers, which have been capped at 24 per club, the Lions will see relatively few changes under the league-mandated cutbacks.

Brisbane have put their academy system on hold and stood down recruiters while development and second-tier competitions are on hiatus.

But fourth-year Lions coach Fagan said being able to keep the majority of his football department intact meant their operation would continue without major upheaval.

He described it as a “silver lining” for the club in otherwise difficult times during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re a club that runs fairly lean,” Fagan said.

“We don’t have the big staff groups that some clubs are able to have and we run well and truly below the soft cap.

“So the good part is we’ve been able to maintain most of our staff and coaches for this next period, albeit they’re not on full-time work.

“They’re all at different levels. They might have to multiskill a little bit into welfare areas, but they’re all quite capable of that.

“We’ve got a number of guys that are teachers and well-trained in that area.”

Fagan welcomed the likelihood of Brisbane not having to leave Queensland to play matches during the first phase of the 2020 season restart because of teams temporarily relocating there from interstate.

West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will all call Gold Coast home for a few weeks because of quarantine and border restrictions in their home states.

Those clubs will likely play matches against each other in the early rounds.

But Fagan does not expect a major home ground advantage will be at play, with contests to take place behind closed doors, as the did they in round one.

“I’m not a great believer in home ground advantage anyway,” Fagan said.

“I’m a great believer in turning up with the right attitude anywhere in the country and if you do that you’re a chance to win.”





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