Jacobs pleased with player response to COVID-19 impact


Melbourne Victory CEO Trent Jacobs has praised the players and football staff for the way they have responded to the challenges of the past month.

It included players and staff becoming some of the first residents forced to self-isolate for 14 days after returning home from their match against Wellington in mid-March.

With strict restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the players are continuing their individual training programs from home while the Hyundai A-League season is on hold.

“They definitely found it challenging, we were one of the first to have the protocols imposed on us,” Jacobs told SEN. 

“This is a moment where we all had to come together and look at how we utilise all our available resources, how do we get training equipment to all of the players homes, how do we work collaboratively while working remotely.

“We’ve all had to innovate through these times and we’re still working towards April 22 where we’re awaiting next steps from the governing body (FFA) and those that run the league.”

Given the unprecedented restrictions on travel and border closures made around the world, the club has been supportive of its interstate and international players returning home to be with their families.

“First and foremost, our starting position was support for our players and staff through this pandemic.

“Our players are on annual leave and are being paid on annual leave and we’re managing them as we would normally through the month of June when they would be off having a break and are on their individual programs.

“At the moment all of our players remain at home, they’re receiving daily training programs from our football staff which they’re working on as we work towards April 22.

“We’ve been completely comfortable on compassionate grounds for our players to go interstate to be home with their families.

“We were certainly comfortable should any of our players have wanted to go overseas back to their families, which at this point none of them have.”

In addition, the resumption of the 2020 AFC Champions League remains a work in progress with a number of important factors to be discussed.

“This is a more complicated scenario given the number of countries involved, so all we can do at the moment is deal with the immediate challenges and look after our people and look after our players and staff.

“We would only be participating in the Champions League, and I’m sure Sydney FC and Perth Glory would be in the same boat, on the basis that we were sending our players and staff to a safe environment under the guise of Federal and State Government support and the knowledge that we would need to seek that would give us the clearance to do so.

“Our preliminary discussions with the AFC are that they are keen to conclude the group stage and Round of 16, however the timeframe still remains very open with a number of countries involved in both the east and west of Asia, it is a very complicated matter.”