Sandringham is standing down all its employees ahead of an expected financial squeeze brought on by the later start to the VFL season.
And the Zebras face the prospect of being without players and coaches from their alignment partner St Kilda when the season does begin.
The kick-off to the VFL season and all other state leagues has been postponed until after May 31.
The club said today it was standing down its staff from Friday, April 3, until when it was notified the competition would be resuming.
“We would like to make it very clear that we have not terminated any staff and will be ready to resume as soon as the AFL notify us,’’ president Nick Johnstone said in a statement.
“We would like to thank our CEO David Cannizzo and all the staff for their understanding in these unprecedented times and would like to assure you all that the SFC board has been forced to make this change in the interests of the long-term future of the club.
“As soon as there is confirmation that the mighty Zebras can take the field again, we have great optimism on the success that will follow for the club on and off the field.
“Now more than ever, we need your support. This is a very testing time for everyone, but we will get through this together.’’
Zebras secretary Dennis Galimberti.
Secretary Dennis Galimberti said with no matches until after June the club’s only continuing source of revenue was the Sandy by the Bay reception centre.
He said six full-time staff members would be affected by the move.
In another development, Galimberti confirmed St Kilda had withdrawn its players and coaches from Sandringham “for the time being’’.
He said there was doubt about the Saints being involved in the VFL this year owing to the coronavirus crisis and a compacted AFL fixture.
Galimberti said St Kilda hadn’t broken the clubs’ alignment but was taking measures to protect the health of its squad.
“They’ve advised us their players will no longer be available to play at the club … they’ve taken back their own players and coaching staff to their own environment,’’ he said.
“Because of the compacted nature of the restructured AFL competition, they (St Kilda) may be required to play two or three games in a two-week period so they’ll need all their players to fulfil those commitments. They’re going to need access to their entire list. This is for the time being but it may be for the entire year.’’
Galimberti acknowledged the Zebras might have to find a new senior coach to replace Ben McGlynn, a Saints assistant.
“It’s uncertain what the future holds,’’ he said.
Galimberti said it was a difficult time for the Zebras but the club was resilient and would bounce back.
“The club’s experienced adverse and difficult times before, and has been able to come out at the other end in a very prosperous and successful state,’’ he said.
“The club went into recess during World War II and came out of it to win the 1946 premiership against Camberwell.
“We full intend to resume as soon as we are able to, and expect to be successful again soon.
“I’d like to take the opportunity to make a call to arms to all Sandringham supporters. If they can help in any way when the club resumes, they should contact us to register their supporter. Their support is going to be very much needed in the coming months.’’
Galimberti urged supporters to maintain their memberships and help Sandy get to the line for the mid-season start.