Periodically certain AFL leaning folks bring up the Melbourne Storms funds and debt profile over the years.
In 2010, Crikey noted that the Storm had been losing 6 million a year, with News covering the losses.
In 2012, the Australian Rugby League Commission guaranteed $26.5 million over the next six years to Melbourne Storm with the express aim to being “to keep the game thriving in Victoria”.
In March 2012, Roy Masters remarked that the Storm were losing 8 million a year.
In August 2013, Fairfax reported that the Storm had been overspending to the tune of between $2 million and $5 million for 15 years. This shortfall had been financed by News Ltd and the amount spent by the club does not seem to be falling since the salary cap scandal in 2010.
The Storm football club spent about $20 million a year, or about $2-$4 million more than most other clubs except for the wealthy Broncos. The new consortium of owners, led by New Zealander Bart Campbell, were projecting the club will break even in five years, which is a long time to be losing money.
In June 2015, Fairfax quoted Storm owner Bart Campbell.
“Our lofty aspiration is to be solvent – that meaning cash comes in, cash comes out and at the end of the year the books balance. We are not in that position yet, but we have funds so it’s not all woe is me, but we believe over time there will be a business in this town called Melbourne Storm that is solvent and if we make profits we will re-invest them.”
In August 2015, The Australian Financial Review reported that the Storm turned over about $25 million annually, a figure that put it in the top half of the league, and had a membership base of about 15,000 but average crowds of about 14,000.
The clubs owners also bought a local hotel with hope the facility will offset continued financial losses for the Storm, which effectively breaks even each season but only after receiving an additional $26.5 million over six years as part of the terms of News Corp, once owner of the club, exiting its half-stake in the NRL in 2012.
On September 30th, 2016 Storm partowner Matthew Tripp was quoted in the Australian Financial Review
“I think we are at the break-even stage now and we can be profitable next year,” Tripp told AFR Weekend. “But we are not necessarily in this for the money. This club has been built on a great culture … we’ve got those legends playing for us and a fantastic coach in Craig Bellamy. The leadership they show is fantastic, and they really set the standards for the younger guys coming through.”
- 2010.03.31 – Try as they might, no News Ltd means no Melbourne Storm
- 2012.02.11 – Australian Rugby League Commission grants Melbourne Storm $26.5 million
- 2012.03.26 – Greek bean counters could learn a thing or two from leaguenomics
- 2013.08.30 – Moneyball: how is your club placed?
- 2015.06.15 – Melbourne Storm name Donaghy chief executive
- 2015.08.24 – Melbourne Storm targets 20,000 members and hopes pub buy brings financial stability
- 2016.09.30 – Rich listers’ bet on Melbourne Storm pays off