Cats fans will be unable to attend our round one fixture.

It is now very clear that COVID-19 (coronavirus) is going to have a huge influence on the way we live our lives - and our club is no exception. We will face many challenges.

As difficult as it is, we do support the decision of the government and health experts to restrict large crowd access. And we support the AFL’s decision to proceed, at this stage, with games but without crowds.

While there will be disappointment from our supporters who love watching us play, the needs of the community must take precedence. The health and wellbeing of our own people, and those we interact with, has to be our priority.

But we will continue to do all that we can, in these difficult times, to bring joy and that sense of belonging to our members, supporters and the community.

With the situation changing almost every day, we can’t predict how long these changes will be in place. But we will continue to take advice and direction from government and public health experts.

We will be doing everything we can do to keep our players and staff free from infection and this will involve minimising their public exposures. We ask for your support as this will mean changes to many of the things we have done in the past.

All AFL clubs will face significant financial challenges if the season goes far without spectator attendance. We are already starting to work through what we need to do to deal with this.

There will be many more questions that cannot be answered at this time but we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

Our club is 162 years old and we’ve come through World Wars, depressions and even global pandemics. We will come through this too even though the ride will be bumpy. And so, we thank you for your understanding and patience at this difficult time. We are in this together and will be united in doing our part to overcome the spread of this disease.

Colin Carter & Brian Cook