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Interviews

Andrew Cullen on financial impact of Coronavirus on football and MK Dons

Executive Director discussed the impact on MKFM...

16 April 2020

Executive Director Andrew Cullen acknowledged there is concern regarding the overall financial stability of football but insists MK Dons are working hard to navigate their way through the crisis.

Football activity in the EFL has been suspended since March 14th and will remain out of action indefinitely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This has led to serious concerns around the league regarding the economic damage this postponement will have on football clubs such as MK Dons. Andrew Cullen addressed those matters in a recent Q&A with MKFM.

“Supporters should be concerned about the financial stability of football at the moment,” Cullen acknowledged in answer to a question on last weekend’s show.

“From the discussions we’ve had with other football clubs, there are a number who are already in financial distress. That’s the first thing that occupies us all as EFL clubs – that we can all, collectively, come through this.

“Here at MK Dons, we are doing our very best. We can see out the other end and we have a plan in place to get all the way through it - we’re working immensely hard on that.

“The Government have been fantastic with a number of schemes that have been put in place to protect the economy and we’ve been able to take advantage of some of those, particularly the Job Retention Scheme which has meant furloughing the majority of our staff, designed to make sure everyone has a job coming out of the other end.

“We are very mindful that we have to make sure we have sufficient capital coming out of the end of this and a business that can continue to pay those commitments.

“Fortunately, in the Marshall Arena and with the DoubleTree by Hilton, a lot of events are being booked for later in the year and into next year. We are also looking at next summer and a number of different things which can happen at the stadium. It’s giving us a lot of encouragement that we can continue to trade and play football after all this over.

“We’re focused on navigating our way through the short term as a priority, but we can see the medium and long term coming through, which is what we’re able to present to those who are willing to support and back us.

“Hopefully, we can all come through this together, along with the 90 other EFL clubs.”

One area in which the Club have received support and backing is the renewal of Season Tickets, with over 3,500 fans committing their future to the Football Club for the 2020/21 campaign.

“The resilience of football supporters is quite amazing,” Cullen commented. “They want to support the Football Club and help it get through this unprecedented situation.

“We have already have 3,500 renewals for next season which is astonishing and we are so grateful for that. There is little other revenue coming into the business at this time so that money coming in is making a massive difference. A huge thumbs up to everyone who has committed."

Cullen continued: “People have continued to stick with this Club. We had the three seasons where we were relegated to League One and then to League Two and people continued to stick with us in terms of Season Ticket sales.

“We try our best to work with our Season Ticket holders and we have great support in that respect. There is the MKDSA who do a fantastic job in terms of engaging supporters with the Football Club; we have Dons Action who have been working hard to get Stadium MK rocking; and we have the various supporters who volunteer on our various working groups.

"We try to stay very much in touch and alive with the concerns our supporters. Hopefully we can continue working together to ensure this still very young Football Club can grow further.”

 


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