Finances of the AFL Clubs in 2014

AFL finances is an often murky and often misunderstood area that we hope to shed some light on here for you by ranking the AFL clubs in terms of Revenue.

1. Collingwood

  • Ownership structure: Membership, Limited by Guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $76,256,915
  • 2014 Profit: $2,017,992
  • 2014 Assets: $51,330,691
  • 2014 Annual Report

The Pies benefit from a huge membership (80,000+ in 2014), no debt, almost 20 million in sponsorship, league best facilities at Westpac Centre, and a profitable gaming venue that deliver almost $24 million to the bottom line.

The Pies 14th straight profit comes despite an almost $900,000 hit from the AFL’s new equalisation tax, and despite not playing in the finals.

2. Hawthorn

  • Ownership structure: Membership, Limited by Guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $67,663,161
  • 2014 Profit: $3,420,400
  • 2014 Assets: $52,411,058
  • 2014 Annual Report

Hawthorns monster profit is improved by its recent successes, as well as league leading merchandise revenues – at over $5 million, they sit almost $2 million clear of second placed Essendon. Further improving their position are their match returns from games in Tasmania, not to mention an annual membership of more than 8,700 from the Apple Isle.

The Hawks pulled in another 18 million from the pokie operations, while ther Box Hill affiliate also reported a profit.

3. Essendon

  • Ownership structure Membership, Limited by Guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $61,258,047
  • 2014 Profit: $721,517
  • 2014 Assets: Essendon – $53,207,638
  • 2014 Annual Report

The signing of Fujitsu as a new major sponsor is almost certainly the major reason for the Bombers recording a profit in 2014. The club increased sponsorship by $860,000, but only had minor increases and decreases elsewhere across the board. ASADA costs were down from $3 million to just over $1 million, while the details of Dean Robinsons payout were not disclosed.

League leading facilities at Tullamarine help to make the Bombers the top of the AFL club Assets ladder in 2014.

4. West Coast

  • Ownership Structure: 100% owned by the West Australian Football Commission
  • 2014 Revenue: $57,616,027
  • 2014 Profit: $4,681,116
  • 2014 Assets: $52,750,486
  • 2014 Annual Report

The staggering thing about West Coast isnt just the profit, its the fact that the profit is AFTER royalty payments to the WAFC totalling another 2.3 million.

The Eagles have a league leading 18 million in membership generated by demand and a record membership of more than 57,000.  Corporate box revenue at the stadium continues to outselll sponsorship – a phenomenon unknown to those east of the border – as the Eagles continue to make the most of the best Stadium deal in the country.

West Coast have more than $40 million cash in the bank, which is almost certainly going to be used up when the club moves to Lathlain Park in the not too distant future, after signing a lease in 2014.

5. Carlton

  • Ownership Structure: Membership, Limited by Guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $56,641,156
  • 2014 Loss: ($1,605,453)
  • 2014 Assets: $25,295,881
  • 2014 Annual Report

The Blues have begun to feel the lack of success financially, with members not buying into the Club despite the 150th year celebrations in 2014.  Even the Blues own pokie facilities dropped a million in revenue, while small decreases were also felt across the board. The Blues need to start playing finals again, and quickly before the hole deepens.

6. Geelong

  • Ownership Structure: Membership, Limited by guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $51,356,479
  • 2014 Loss: ($251,207)
  • 2014 Assets: $34,769,514
  • 2014 Annual Report

Geelongs loss this year came as a bit of a surprise, but the club says its primarily due to dops in Kardinia park attendances which dropped 3,000 on average. Sponsorship dropped by just over $1 million, as did Pokie venue revenue.

7. Fremantle

  • Ownership Structure: 100% ownerd by the West Australian Football Commission
  • 2014 Revenue  $49,161,997
  • 2014 Profit:  $215,729
  • 2014 Assets: $20,066,181
  • 2014 Annual report:

A record revenue taking year again for the Dockers who are starting to feel the success that comes with playing finals footy, with membership revenue rising by almost $2 million, and sponsorship revenue up close to $1 million. The Dockers profits come amidst preparations for the clubs transfer of training facilities to Cockburn.

8. Port Adelaide

  • Ownership Structure: Board most appointed by the AFL, 2 directors voted from membership.
  • 2014 Revenue: $48,219,475
  • 2014 Loss: ($1,091,999)
  • 2014 Assets: $18,558,042
  • 2014 Annual Report

Despite a 7 million dollar uplift in revenue, the Power still managed to drop a million dollar loss, as the team from Alberton continues to invest in its football department, with expenditure up $2 million in 2014. Chairman David Koch has sworn the Power will deliver a profit in 2015 on the back of an improved stadium deal at Adelaide Oval.

9. Brisbane

  • Ownership structure: members, limited by guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $46,538,187
  • 2014 Loss: ($3,543,138)
  • 2014 Assets: $9,745,392
  • 2014 Annual Report

A $2 million revenue increase was more than accounted for in social club expenses which along with a 1.3 million increase in football department spending lead the Lions to a 3 million dollar loss. A worrying sign, as its now the 5th year in a row that the Lions have made a loss. Debts include $6 million owed to the AFL in loans that the Lions arent expecting to be called in any time soon. Needless to say, it looks grim at the moment.

10. Sydney

  • Ownership structure: Membership, AFL hold controlling vote
  • 2014 Revenue: $46,519,605
  • 2014 Profit: $846,871,
  • 2014 Assets: $8,636,118
  • 2014 Annual Report

The Swans are enduring a successful period on the field, and off the field have celebrated their fourth succesive profit. The record membership led to an $1 million increase in member revenues, while sponsorship added a further $2.5 million to the kitty. Having recently signed a 30 year agreement to play all their games at the SCG, the Swans are sitting pretty well at this time.

11.  Richmond

  • Ownership Structure: Membership, limited by guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $44,408,127
  • 2014 Profit: $1,329,530
  • 2014 Assets: $29,345,548
  • 2014 Annual Report

As the phoenix continues to rise so do the fortunes of the Richmond football club, as the fellows from Punt Road set new records in membership revenue, sponsorship revenue and coterie revenue, as well as running a tight, efficient ship.  The club is every chance of passing Collingwood for members in the near future.

12. Melbourne

  • Ownership Structure: Membership, limited by guarantee
  • 2014 revenue: $42,093,064,
  • 2014 profit:  $284,557
  • 2014 Assets: $16,489,836
  • 2014 Annual Report

The Dees are coming from behind here, but with Peter Jackson at the helm delivered a small profit in 2014. The club received a reduced future fund distribution to balance out the advance recieved the year before from the league, but on the back of a 28% increase in attendances, and increased sponsored managed a profit of almost $300,000.

13. Western Bulldogs

  • Ownership structure: Membership, Limited by guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $37,538,814
  • 2014 profit: $329,945
  • 2014 Assets: $39,820,521
  • 2014 Annual Report

The sons of the west delivered a profit this year, with a turnaround of about half a million dollars on last years minor loss. Record sponsorships and slight increases in membership, as well as profitable hosting of VFL matches at the Western Oval put the Dogs into the black.

14. North Melbourne

  • Ownership structure: Membership, Limited by guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $34,390,355
  • 2014 Profit: $42,419
  • 2014 Assets: $15,322,542
  • 2014 Annual report

A good year for the boys from Arden Street with an increase in revenue of about 2.2 million and delivering another profit for the club. Revenue growth came from sponsorships and membership which combined to provide a million dollar uplift. The club continued to pay off debt with $700,000 wiped off the books as the club aims to be debt free in a few years.

15.  Adelaide (probably, based on its 2013 results).

The 2014 Adelaide Annual report has not yet been released. The club has projected a loss this year.

16. Gold Coast

  • Ownership Structure: Temporary AFL control.
  • 2014 Revenue: $33,798,619
  • 2014 Profit: $1,602,082
  • 2014 Assets: $7,728,021
  • 2014 Annual Report

Gold Coasts position is a little hard to judge at present with just under half of its funding still coming from the AFL ($16 million). That said, this is only 3.5 million more than clubs like the Bulldogs received from the league indistributions so perhaps its not as bad as it could be. The future still looks promising, with a nice stadium deal, but they need to to ratchet up the sponsorship side of the equation.

17. Greater Western Sydney

  • Ownership Structurel  Temporary AFL Control
  • 2014 revenue: $32,448,830
  • 2014 Profit: ($529,325)
  • 2014 Assets: $15,802,691
  • 2014 Annual Report

The GWS position remains a concern at this time. The club recieved $21 million in AFL grants, and a further $2 million in government grants, with the rest mostly sponsorship related and even that dropped almost $2 million in 2014. Membership and ticketing revenues are still way down, and the situation will be grim for some time to come.

18. St Kilda

  • Ownership Structure: Membership, Limited by Guarantee
  • 2014 Revenue: $30,235,195
  • 2014 Loss: ($3,912,922)
  • 2014 Assets: $14,790,712
  • 2014 Annual Report

Several multimillion dollar losses in a row, a feat only matched by Brisbane, puts the Saints in a dire financial position. Despite an almost million dollar increase in AFL distributions, revenues still dropped 1.6 million in 2014, due in large part to the Saints lacking a second major sponsor.  Merchandise sales dropped 30$, and the Saints were one of few clubs to lose members last year. Much needs to be done to turn this ship around.

Summary

  • Total Club Revenue:  $798,159,773
  • AFL Club Distributions: $216,000,000 (27.1%)
  • Revenue obtained from Non-AFL sources: $582,159,773 (72.9%)
  • Combined club profits: $5,561,897
  • 12 clubs delivered profits, 6 clubs losses.

Too many clubs are still beholden to the AFLs Future fund program at this point, and that is scheduled to expire in 2017, and clubs like St Kilda and the Lions arent showing much hope of being self sustaining in that time (where self sustaining is club revenues + the standard AFL grant). Other clubs are a lot closer, with Port expecting to make a profit in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment on "Finances of the AFL Clubs in 2014"

Leave a comment