Ashton Gate staff facing redundancy
BRISTOL City staff are today coming to terms with the prospect of a future away from Ashton Gate.
The cash-strapped football club recently announced plans to reduce its workforce in order to satisfy the requirements of the Football League's Financial Fair Play framework, which comes into effect next year, and secure the financial future of the club.
The club has lost close to £30 million in the last three years and is expected to announce another substantial deficit at the end of the current trading year.
The latest job cuts affect staff employed by Ashton Gate Ltd, the non-football arm of the business, which employs close to 50 people.
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Staff were informed of the impending business restructuring programme last week and were invited to apply for voluntary redundancy.
Those affected were formally notified in writing last night, at which point a seven-day consultation process commenced. Those made redundant are expected to have left their posts by next Monday.
A club statement said: "It is the wish of everyone at Ashton Gate Ltd to make this process as straightforward as possible. As such, the company is inviting applications for any voluntary redundancies in the first instance. It is anticipated that following this stage, further posts will be under review."
Staff numbers at Ashton Gate have risen since the club's return to the Championship in 2007 and unveiling of plans to build a new 30,000 all-seater stadium at nearby Ashton Vale.
Although planning permission has been granted by Bristol City Council, the stadium project has become mired in a legal battle between landowners and campaigners who want to stop any development of the proposed site.
City officials are now considering the possibility of having to upgrade facilities at Ashton Gate and are restructuring their business accordingly.
Areas affected include the commercial sales and call centre teams, the ticket office and club shop, the operations team, comprising maintenance and ground staff, the media and communications departments and reception staff.
City chief executive Guy Price declined to reveal how many members of staff would be affected but confirmed that redundancy notices had already been sent out.
He told the Post: "It is important to be an efficient and commercially successful organisation. Over the past few years, however, there have been areas where the business has under- achieved and we need to take steps to ensure this does not continue."
The cuts will not affect manager Derek McInnes and his staff. City's boss has already taken drastic steps to reduce the football wage bill by releasing 11 players at the end of last season and restructuring his back-room team.