Rapid's Managing Directors Show Their Colours
A joint-statement from Christoph Peschek and Zoran Barisic regarding the Coronavirus issue:
“Currently, we’re experiencing an exceptional situation, the likes of which we have never encountered before in this manner. Our primary focus is on people’s health and well-being, so we will support the important measures to contain and combat the Coronavirus with the full weight of our resources.
“As the management, the well-being of the Rapid community is very important to us, so we appeal to all our fans, partners and employees: Stay at home and look after yourselves! It’s now our duty to lead SK Rapid through these challenging times in the best possible way to ensure the future of the club. We were of course founded to play football, and since we currently cannot do so, the foundations of our business are no longer in place. As the club with the highest average attendance and the most enthusiastic and far-reaching fan base amongst the people, the cancellation of all our games will result in a huge economic loss - not just through a lack of ticket revenue, but also given many other factors. These include possible repercussions in terms of our participation in European competition and in the transfer market, funding through TV rights, business partnerships, as well as a continuing lack of revenue which hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles.
“In addition, we are also a commercial enterprise, and as such bear a great responsibility. In total, we not only generate a gross value of around €48 million annually to our home city of Vienna, but we are also responsible for almost 700 jobs in the capital, which directly or indirectly are attributable to SK Rapid and its fans. From youth coaches to physiotherapists, players to ticket sellers; all of them, as well as our external partners and suppliers are now at the top of our priorities list, and we have already taken numerous steps to ensure the economic impact on them is as small as possible. This is why SK Rapid is now running in its “Emergency Operations” mode, and we are doing everything we can to keep running costs to a minimum. We are now exploring further options within the realm of the measures introduced by the Federal Government, and are currently preparing for the introduction of reduced working hours (‘Kurzarbeit’).
“As the managing directors, we ourselves are not exempt from these essential measures, and we want to set the right example. We will continue to be fully committed to the club, but we will forego a substantial part of our salaries for the duration of the crisis, because SK Rapid is in our hearts, and we want to make sure that we are doing everything that we possibly can to overcome this situation. Right now our motto of “Together. Fight. Win.” is more important than ever, and united, we as a community will emerge from this crisis even stronger!
“We would also like to place on record our thanks to the coaching team and the players’ association led by Stefan Schwab for their willingness to support us. We are very confident that we will be able to finalise the specifics of the support campaign from our professional players and coaches in the coming days.”