Panthers boss declares: We will survive

Panthers Group CEO Brian Fletcher. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The Panthers Group is bracing for a massive financial hit but is determined to survive the Coronavirus crisis.

The Group today closed its five licensed clubs, including its home base at Penrith, with a re-opening date unknown.

It follows the Federal Government’s decision to implement further restrictions on businesses where people gather socially.

In a double blow, the Panthers football club is also bracing for a massive financial struggle with a potential loss this year of $9 million.

That number could be higher with talk the NRL is on the brink of suspending the 2020 season.

Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said it’s a long and difficult road ahead.

“It’s a 100 per cent downturn,” Fletcher told The Daily Telegraph.

“They’ve closed all the clubs. There’s no income. All there is is expenses.

“But there are a lot of people a lot worse off than us. We’re all alive. We just have to get through it and we will.

Panthers Leagues Club has closed its doors for the first time in decades.

“We have to be smart enough to come out the other end and we will do that.

“We have cut a lot of costs and our staff has gone on annual leave and long service leave.

“We’re looking at every avenue where we can save money.”

Fletcher declared the club would be alive post-Coronavirus, but the financial strain will be difficult.

“We have to make sure we’re on top of it, that is the main thing. Everyone is aware of it,” he told the Telegraph.

Brian Fletcher. Photo: Megan Dunn.

The NRL is expected to make an announcement within hours about the fate of the 2020 season.

While the code has been determined to play on with no crowds, it now faces an almost impossible task with Queensland confirming it will close its borders later this week.

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