AFL Reserves – License Fees and Operating Costs

South Australian Football League

Stand Alone

  • Adelaide Crows
  • Port Adelaide Magpies

The Advertiser reported in 2014 that SANFL licence fees from the Crows and Power were $400,000 a year. Adelaide currently pays this fee. Port has had the $400,000 deducted from the annual $550,000 dividend assigned by the SANFL to the Magpies.

Victorian Football League

  • Stand Alone: Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong, Richmond,
  • Alignments: St Kilda (Sandringham), North Melbourne (Werribee)
  • Other: Carlton (Northern Blues), Hawthorn (Box Hill)

The Age reported in 2010 that some VFL clubs feared that their AFL partner will become stand-alone, putting them in survival mode, financially. However it was believed that some AFL clubs would be put off by the $110,000 licensing fees and additional staffing costs.

Fees were expected to increase for the 2012 season where AFL Victoria was expected to significantly increase the annual licence fee – currently about $130,000 – meaning clubs looking to move to a stand-alone team would be faced with an annual bill increase of at least $100,000. The estimated cost of funding a stand-alone team this season was $500,000.

In 2012 it was reported in the Heraldsun that it would cost the Dogs about $400,000 to join the likes of Collingwood, Geelong and the Bombers in fielding their own reserves team.

In May 2016, the Leader reported that AFL Clubs believe they could save up to $100,000 a year if they dropped their Development League team, easing financial pressures.

West Australian Football League


  • Fremantle (Peel Thunder)
  • East Perth (West Coast)

The original financial package offered to the WAFL clubs as part of Peel’s and East Perth’s alignments allowed for an increase of $70,000 in the cash component of their annual management grant from the WAFC, with $20,000 to go on each club’s balance sheet annually, $10,000 per club to go towards investigating cost savings and shared services and $50,000 per club to go into a competition development fund.

The revised financial package will still see clubs receive the equivalent of a $150,000 financial package but it will include an extra $120,000 cash in management grants to go with the other elements.



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