We're in unprecedented times, and we know you've got plenty of questions.
Below you can find some FAQs relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There are still so many questions we don’t have answers for, but we will update this page and continue to provide regular updates when new information becomes available.
During these challenging times, we can't thank Essendon members enough for their continued support. You are the lifeblood of our club and we appreciate your support more than ever.
What does the 2020 AFL season currently look like?
On Sunday, March 22, the AFL Commission made the decision to postpone the AFL season until at least May 31 due to the coronavirus outbreak. In a phone hook-up of club officials, the AFL said no matches would be played before June, but it is known that that timeframe could be significantly pushed back. There remains, though, a commitment to somehow play the remaining 144 matches of the 2020 season, which was last week reduced to a 17-game-per-team fixture.
Is there a chance the season is suspended beyond May 31?
Yes. The AFL will review the suspension period at the end of April, with clubs required to have a month's notice before the resumption of play. Should the League determine that a further suspension period is required, the indefinite halt to the game will continue.
What is the best-case scenario?
The ideal outcome for the AFL is that play will be resumed in the first week of June. However, the League will continue to be guided by state governments as to an approved return date. In order for the best-case scenario to eventuate, the AFL will need to inform clubs that the suspension period will come to an end when they review the situation at the end of April.
What will the players do during the suspension period?
Clubs have given players the opportunity to return to their home states during the suspension period. Foreign players, including Essendon defender Conor McKenna, have returned to their home country. Players will be able to train individually during the suspension period, but are not able to return to their clubs until a month before the season is confirmed to resume.
What has happened to the club's staff?
In response to this significant challenge, the club has moved to drastically cut operating costs to help the club get through this period. As a result, the club made the heartbreaking decision early in the week commencing March24 to stand down more than 75 per cent of its staff, across every operational area of the club, until further notice.
A minimum number of staff will now work on severely reduced hours to ensure the club remains operational during the suspension period, which is due to run until at least May 31.
These extremely tough decisions were not taken lightly but were made to protect the club in the short term and the employment of our people for the long term.
What’s happening with the VFL and VFLW seasons?
All state league competitions across the country, including the VFL and VFLW, have had their seasons postponed until May 31. It’s unclear what the fixtures will look like when the seasons resume.
Will I receive a refund on my membership/tickets/hospitality package?
Bombers members and fans are asked to keep hold of their tickets and memberships. The club will communicate to its members with game-day access once more information comes to hand.
Fans who purchased tickets for round one via Ticketmaster and Ticketek received a refund, while Essendon, AFL and venue members will be communicated to in coming days.
To ensure the club can provide the latest updates, members are encouraged to ensure their contact details are up to date by logging in at efc.com.au.
Is the NEC Hangar open?
The NEC Hangar is closed to fans and all members of the public until further notice. As a result, unfortunately players will be unavailable to sign autographs at any upcoming open training sessions.
While we believe this is an appropriate step to try and reduce exposure for our playing group, the club apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. We will ensure additional signing opportunities are made available later in the year for our members and supporters.
Are there any fan engagement activities coming up?
During this period of physical isolation from fans, the club's digital team is more determined than ever to serve you. Where possible, Dons Digital will be doing all it can to bring you closer to the club than ever before and show you just how big your role is. Here's a taste of what you can expect from Dons Digital over the coming months.
Is the Bomber Shop still taking orders online?
Yes. The Bomber Shop is still operating online. You can claim your member discount by entering your member ID in the promo code section. To keep in touch with special deals, follow the Bomber Shop on Instagram. For further enquiries, email email@example.com.
How can we continue to support the club?
During these unprecedented times, we appreciate your support more than ever.
A Digital membership will allow you to watch every Essendon game (when games resume) along with other benefits, including a member pack and card, discounts at the Bomber Shop, exclusive emails and access to purchase finals tickets on request.
If you simply want to be counted as a member and show your support, then an Essendon Insider membership is for you.
You’ll still be able to stay connected to the club via our website, app and social media channels.
Get the latest updates
To stay up to date with the latest developments, members and fans are encouraged to check their contact details are correct by logging in at efc.com.au.
If you don’t currently receive emails from the club, be sure sign up to our free Bomber Bulletin newsletter.