James Johnson has spoken about the healing power of the beautiful game following Football Federation Australia stood 70 per cent of its staff due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Following the lead of many other sporting organisations, FFA has decided to stand down approximately 70 per cent of its staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Just three days after confirming the suspension of the A-League until at least April 22, FFA chief executive James Johnson said it had been necessary to make the "regrettable" decision to keep the federation financially viable.
"Virtually all football activity has now ceased for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19," Johnson said.
"These developments impact many forms of revenue for FFA, including national registration fees, broadcast fees, sponsorship, ticket sales and government funding, so we have needed to adjust our operations to ensure that we can remain operational."
It's understood the decision could affect up to 160 people, with the federation directly employing 230 staff.
Johnson said a small number of staff would stay on during the pandemic to maintain operations and communication with the community.
"We view this as a temporary stoppage of football," he said.
"We will be continually reviewing the situation and the impact of COVID-19 on grassroots football and the remainder of the Hyundai A-League season.
"We need a strong national governing body in place and a team ready and able to get back to work as soon as possible, as football will play an essential role in the recovery of our nation post COVID-19."
Friday's announcement did not mention whether executives would be following the example of the AFL by taking pay cuts or knocking back bonuses during the shutdown.