2020 Financials Thread

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Kwality

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COVID cost AFL and NRL hundreds of millions, financial accounts reveal (theaustralian.com.au)

AFL Stadia subsidiary, which owns Marvel Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands, posted an $18m loss for the year, and the AFL’s results included $33m it received from the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program and there was also $14m from the Victorian government for a future Marvel Stadium redevelopment. It also spent about $60m on measures such as the Queensland hubs for the competition in the second half of the year.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Bigger they are, harder they fall.

But WCE still increased their cash balance by over $11.8mil rather than chewed up their cash reserves, over $11mil of it from normal operating activities.

The previous year their cash balance from normal operations increased by $17mil but that was after $13mil from government grants and private funding for their new facility. They spent all that and some of their reserves on their new facility in 2019.

How did they achieve that? Looks like not many people asked for cash refunds on their 2020 memberships, but asked for credits for 2021 memberships. They have $18m in memberships paid in advance as at 31st October 2020. I doubt that represents people paying in huge numbers in October 2020 their 2021 memberships.

So 2021 should see large profits again for WCE, their membership revenue will be at least $18mil not $8mil, but that's when they will have to dig into their cash reserves.

It was asked earlier in this thread how membership credits and refunds were handled by the clubs. Maybe the stories in the press saying the overwhelming majority of fans pledged 100% or 75% of their fees to their clubs' in 2020 against their 2020 memberships where correct, but Eagles fans - who on average across all categories pay the highest membership fees - mostly asked for credits against 2021 memberships.


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Kwality

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Have the Eagles handled their membership financial issues differently to other clubs?

'A remarkable Club record of 101,275 members, placing us number one in the competition, illustrating the outstanding support that our club has, particularly given that there was no certainty of games being played during the season.'

Why would that be?
 

Rob

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Have the Eagles handled their membership financial issues differently to other clubs?

'A remarkable Club record of 101,275 members, placing us number one in the competition, illustrating the outstanding support that our club has, particularly given that there was no certainty of games being played during the season.'

Why would that be?
They've got a huge unearned income liability - memberships paid in advance. So 2020 members that paid, say, $500 that will get a credit of that much in 2021 will result in zero recognised as income in the 2020 year with a $500 liability. But their cash balance will of course reflect the extra $500 (that's why their cash has increased by so much as RussellEbertHandball noted) and it will get recognised as income in 2021. IMO it's the correct accounting treatment.

Most other clubs either haven't done this or haven't got many members that will get 2021 credits for their 2020 membership fees.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Have the Eagles handled their membership financial issues differently to other clubs?

'A remarkable Club record of 101,275 members, placing us number one in the competition, illustrating the outstanding support that our club has, particularly given that there was no certainty of games being played during the season.'

Why would that be?
90-95% of members for all clubs would have been paid up, either in full or several of their monthly instalments paid by 28th February. We had full house at the Women's World at the MCG on 8th March 2020 and the Grand Prix was the next weekend and that was shut down on the Thursday. So the WCE had done their marketing hard yards long before the 8th of March.

My understanding was that the 18 clubs and AFL had meetings and worked out a consistent approach to what credits/refunds will be given to Members. I got an email from Port on 20st May re the pledge system and on the 25th May saying the season would resume on 13th June for the showdown.

There were 3 basic pledges
1. pledge 100% against their 2020 membership

2. pledge a minimum amount ie buy a club membership (with no game access) and received the balance as a cash refund or a 2021 membership credit, or pledge 50% or 75% and the balance is a cash refund or 2021 membership credit. Club said it was flexible about combinations above the minimum pledge.

3. receive a full refund less a small admin fee of $40 for the club having to put together the membership packages sent out to members in prior months.

96% of Port member's pledged 100% according to the CEO's email to members after the audited membership numbers were released by the AFL in early September.

If most clubs' had 90%+ of members pledge 100% and the majority was for 2020 and not 2021 membership fees, then the accounts of most clubs wont have a large unearned revenue liability, or a huge abnormal amount compared to the previous years, given all clubs seem to have some memberships renewed before 31st October in a normal year, and i doubt any club launched their 2021 membership packages before 1st November given the 2020 season ended on 24th October.

Looks like the WCE had 90%+ of their members pledge 100%, but the majority asked for a 2021 credit rather than cash refund, and took option 2 above.
 
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Rob

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90-95% of members for all clubs would have been paid up, either in full or several of their monthly instalments paid by 28th February. We had full house at the Women's World at the MCG on 8th March 2020 and the Grand Prix was the next weekend and that was shut down on the Thursday. So the WCE had done their marketing hard yards long before the 8th of March.

My understanding was that the 18 clubs and AFL had meetings and worked out a consistent approach to what credits/refunds will be given to Members. I got an email from Port on 20st May re the pledge system and on the 25th May saying the season would resume on 13th June for the showdown.

There were 3 basic pledges
1. pledge 100% against their 2020 membership

2. pledge a minimum amount ie buy a club membership (with no game access) and received the balance as a cash refund or a 2021 membership credit, or pledge 50% or 75% and the balance is a cash refund or 2021 membership credit. Club said it was flexible about combinations above the minimum pledge.

3. receive a full refund less a small admin fee of $40 for the club having to put together the membership packages sent out to members in prior months.

96% of Port member's pledged 100% according to the CEO's email to members after the audited membership numbers were released by the AFL in early September.

If most clubs' had 90%+ of members pledge 100% and the majority was for 2020 and not 2021 membership fees, then the accounts of most clubs wont have a large unearned revenue liability, or a huge abnormal amount compared to the previous years, given all clubs seem to have some memberships renewed before 31st October in a normal year, and i doubt any club launched their 2021 membership packages before 1st November given the 2020 season ended on 24th October.

Looks like the WCE had 90%+ of their members pledge 100%, but the majority asked for a 2021 credit rather than cash refund, and took option 2 above.
It's hard to believe only West Coast members had so many go for the 2021 credit compare to most other clubs.

I suspect the accountants at most clubs simply decided to classify 2021 credits as 2020 income as it's non refundable. In which case the true loss for the year will be reflected (at least in part) in 2021.
 

Kwality

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They've got a huge unearned income liability - memberships paid in advance. So 2020 members that paid, say, $500 that will get a credit of that much in 2021 will result in zero recognised as income in the 2020 year with a $500 liability. But their cash balance will of course reflect the extra $500 (that's why their cash has increased by so much as RussellEbertHandball noted) and it will get recognised as income in 2021. IMO it's the correct accounting treatment.

Most other clubs either haven't done this or haven't got many members that will get 2021 credits for their 2020 membership fees.
My post related to why they've changed the method they use to define a member. Interesting timing ...
No problem with the accounting treatment as you explain it.
 

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RussellEbertHandball

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It's hard to believe only West Coast members had so many go for the 2021 credit compare to most other clubs.

I suspect the accountants at most clubs simply decided to classify 2021 credits as 2020 income as it's non refundable. In which case the true loss for the year will be reflected (at least in part) in 2021.
There's a good chance that has happened, but there are a dozen clubs or so that needed substantial assistance from the AFL to get thru 2020, and they pushed harder with members in their messaging, to help the club out and make a 100% or 50%+ pledge of their 2020 memberships to the club.

I suspect WCE members knew that the club started the 2020 footy year with $20mil in the bank and $35mil in short term financial assets that are readily converted to cash, and most would have thought, well I will leave my membership cash with the club, but they have plenty of money to get thru this year, in May and June when they were given the pledge options, they also probably thought I'm not going to be able to watch a game in the flesh this year, so I'm going to ask for a credit off next year's membership fee. Maybe 2 or 3 other clubs' members could think like that and not worry about their club falling over.
 

Rob

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There's a good chance that has happened, but there are a dozen clubs or so that needed substantial assistance from the AFL to get thru 2020, and they pushed harder with members in their messaging, to help the club out and make a 100% or 50%+ pledge of their 2020 memberships to the club.

I suspect WCE members knew that the club started the 2020 footy year with $20mil in the bank and $35mil in short term financial assets that are readily converted to cash, and most would have thought, well I will leave my membership cash with the club, but they have plenty of money to get thru this year, in May and June when they were given the pledge options, they also probably thought I'm not going to be able to watch a game in the flesh this year, so I'm going to ask for a credit off next year's membership fee. Maybe 2 or 3 other clubs' members could think like that and not worry about their club falling over.
I guess it's possible. But you're talking about 2/3rds of West Coast membership dollars getting deferred - and basically zero and most other clubs, assuming they're accounting for it in the same way.
I think that's just not overly likely. Especially given West Coast actually offered some members the ability to attend games. In the end we'll find out either because there's a switched on journo prepared to ask questions or when next year's financials come out and income from memberships is significantly down at other clubs.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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I guess it's possible. But you're talking about 2/3rds of West Coast membership dollars getting deferred - and basically zero and most other clubs, assuming they're accounting for it in the same way.
I think that's just not overly likely. Especially given West Coast actually offered some members the ability to attend games. In the end we'll find out either because there's a switched on journo prepared to ask questions or when next year's financials come out and income from memberships is significantly down at other clubs.
Clubs announced their refund/credit policy in late May, there was still a lot of uncertainty if fans would have been allowed to get into games back in May and June. I don't know when different clubs' members had to make a choice by, but Port's default policy was that if you didn't contact them by 30 June, it was a 100% pledge. I'm sure if some on rang up on the 10th July and wanted a different pledge or refund they would have accommodated them, but they had a default deadline.

Decided to look at a few other clubs again and how they handled Income Received in Advance.

Carlton didn't give us a breakdown confirming the amounts and they didn't produce a paper copy of their accounts but an online version at;



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The $1.7m increase in income received in advance is probably reflective of memberships paid in advance by way of credit against 2020 memberships. The 2019 accounts had the same note so a lack of info that year to break down the $4.580m, but 2018's liability was $2.746m and the note that year said $2.463m was prepaid membership fees and $283k prepaid sponsorship and hospitality.

Carlton's membership has grown from audited figures of 56,006 in 2018, then 64,269 in 2019 and 67,035 in 2020. So some of that jump in 2019 could be reflected in the 2019 liability increasing by $1.8m with a lot more fans signing up again before 31st October 2019.

According to their website they have 71,950 members for 2021, but I have no idea if they sold a lot of 2021 memberships by 31st October 2020 which had no 2020 membership fee monies credit attached to those early sign ups.

Collingwood like Carlton don't have a specific note just a generic one but have a Unearned Income liability in the balance sheet, which decreased by $5.1mil.

........................... 2020..........2019
Unearned income 2,634,131 7,726,528

2. Statement of significant accounting policies (cont.)
Revenue recognition (cont.)

Members’ payments in advance
In a normal year, a significant amount of membership revenue is received in upfront payments in
September and October. This revenue is included in unearned revenue, as it relates to the following year.
There are also contributions relating to non-refundable 5 and 10 year membership plans that were first
introduced in 2010 and have continued to be offered each year. Appropriate amounts of these
contributions are included as revenue in the years to which they relate.


Collingwood's Membership and matchday took a 50% hit, and membership numbers took a 10% hit 76,862 in 2020 after 85,226 in 2020.
............................................ 2020..........2019
Membership and match day 15,851,219 30,985,842


Hawthorn had the following note which suggested minimal change despite memberships falling by 6%, 76,343 down from 81,211 in 2019, as membership income of the Club only, in note 4, decreased by $500k

....................................2020...... 2019
Membership income 11,751,639 12,259,697

17. Other liabilities Consolidated 2020... 2019 The Club 2020... 2019
Current
Contract Liabilities............ 1,070,996 996,031.......... 705,194 932,228

The Club has contract liabilities relating to 2021 memberships and prepaid corporate hospitality sales


Brisbane membership tally was 29,277 and in 2019 it was 28,023, so looks like they have accounted for a lot of membership credits unless the increase in income received in advance is due to other non membership items.

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St Kilda
Revenue items are well broken down to 13 categories + interest + non operating items and states the following after they had a healthy 13% increase in memberships 48,588 in 2020 and 43,038 in 2019 and in the CEO's report it said

Consumer business: Profit from the consumer business
(membership, merchandise and fundraising) grew by
$1,214,856 due to the support and pledges from members,
reflected by the record membership tally of 48,775 including
98% member retention from revenue generated before
COVID-19
and 3% revenue growth on the 2019 season.

............................................... 2020........ 2019
Membership and reserved seats 7,494,628 7,234,051


Note re Income in advance liability saw a $1.4mil decrease
14. Other Current Liabilities
........................... 2020........ 2019
Income in advance 796,790 2,194,336


North, like St Kilda have a good split up of revenue items and have a note about their Income received in advance. North's membership dropped by 9% 38,667 down from 42,419 in 2019.

...................... 2020.......2019
Membership 5,829,169 6,305,423

NOTE 15 – CONTRACT LIABILITIES
Current................. 2020...........2019
Contract liabilities 3,739,547 3,601,268

Contract liabilities as at 31 October 2020 primarily consist of member funds received in advance of the 2021 AFL
Season


Geelong made specific mention of 2021 credits in their generic revenue recognition note which covered several items, rather than have a specific note about the liability amount breakdown.

NOTE 1 - REVENUE (CONTINUED)
(d) Revenue recognition
........
iii. Membership revenue
Membership income is recognised throughout the duration of the AFL home and away season to which it relates. Subscriptions received in advance from members that relate to future years are included as a liability in income received in advance and will be recognised as revenue in the years to which they relate.

In the 2020 financial year, members were offered a variety of value-adds to their memberships as a thank you for remaining with the club while there were no matches to attend. Some of these offerings will not be delivered until the 2021 financial year and portion of our membership receipts have been recorded as income in advance as at 31 October 2020.

Geelong's balance sheet liability increased by $1.67mil.
.................................................. 2020........ 2019
Income received in advance 1(d) 3,715,056 2,048,866

Geelong's membership an revenue from members+gate receipts had a 48% hit
.......................................................... 2020........ 2019
Membership, seating and gate receipts 10,115,420 19,745,000



So looks like there probably isn't much consistency across these 7 clubs above and what WCE have done, = 8 of the 12 clubs who have publicly released their annual reports. Might look at the other 4 clubs later in the week.

So in summary the Income Received in Advance liability increased or decreased by;

WCE $16.8mil increase in membership component only
Carl $1.7mil
Coll ($5.1mil) decrease
Haw ($237k) decrease
Bris $1.7mil
Stk ($1.4mil) decrease
NM $138k
Gee $1.7mil

Other 6 clubs who haven't publicly released their annual reports are all non Vic clubs with exceptions being WCE and Lions. By public I include those Wookie gets via ASIC.
 

Aussie in exile

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COVID cost AFL and NRL hundreds of millions, financial accounts reveal (theaustralian.com.au)

AFL Stadia subsidiary, which owns Marvel Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands, posted an $18m loss for the year, and the AFL’s results included $33m it received from the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program and there was also $14m from the Victorian government for a future Marvel Stadium redevelopment. It also spent about $60m on measures such as the Queensland hubs for the competition in the second half of the year.
This horrendous disease has no limits. It doesn't discriminate. It treats everybody and everything the same
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Mighty effort REH, thanks. A thumbs up was too understated.
No worries. Was only going to do 3 but after I did the first 3 I wasnt satisfied that told us much, so all this arvo would do another one then go do something else then come back and do another one then do something else etc.
 
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weewilly

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Interesting take on motor mouth V'Landys trying to hide the loss of TV income by Roy Masters in the SMH today.


NRL’s neck-to-knee financials can’t conceal broadcast revenue hit
Roy Masters
By Roy Masters
March 2, 2021 — 8.50am


It was American economist Aaron Levenstein who compared statistics to a bikini, saying, “what they reveal is suggestive but what they conceal is vital.”
Based on the recently published NRL financial accounts, ARLC chair Peter V’landys is dressing the code in a top-to-ankle swimsuit.


For the first time since 2012, the accounts for the financial year ended October 31, 2020, do not reveal income from broadcasting.
Instead, total revenue is shown as $417.273 million, rather than divided into broadcast and non-broadcast revenue, as it was in 2019.

Broadcast revenue from Nine Entertainment, Fox Sports and Telstra represents the greatest source of income to the governing body, suggesting that V’landys clearly wants to shield it from public view.
Perhaps he doesn’t want to reveal the extent to which the code took a hit from broadcasters as a result of the COVID-19 disrupted season, compared to the AFL.
However, it is possible to tease out the NRL 2020 broadcasting income by examining the cost of non-broadcast revenue.


The margin for non-broadcast revenue is historically around 50 per cent. In 2020, the costs of earning (accountants call this COGS – Cost of Goods Sold), the non-broadcast revenue, was $65.445 million, listed in the financials as “Event, Game and Sponsorship”.

This is the amount of money spent on putting on the show. To establish the non-broadcast revenue number, you simply multiply the COGS of $65.445 million by two, meaning the non-broadcast revenue was around $130.89 million.
Subtracting $130.89 million from the published total revenue of $417.273 million, reveals broadcast revenue to be $286.383 million, or $274.865 million if JobKeeper is excluded.
Pre COVID-19 broadcast revenue for 2020 was estimated to be $330 million, meaning the NRL gave broadcasters an approximate $50 million to $60 million discount.
The exact figure will be known when the NRL is obliged to lodge its accounts with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in approximately 30 days time.

The AFL’s financial report showed its broadcast revenue dropped by $45 million from $397 million received in 2019, compared to the NRL’s discount of $50 million to $60 million on 2019 broadcast income of $324.6 million.

In other words, the NRL took a bigger hit on lesser income.

This is understandable, given reports Nine’s Hugh Marks threatened to further disrupt the resumption of the already shortened NRL season with legal action, unless he reached a satisfactory discount.

However, V’landys also gave Nine further discounts of $27.5 million for each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons, according to information forwarded to the Australian Stock Exchange.



More significantly, what will be the position if Nine, having been awarded generous discounts, doesn’t renew its free-to-air rights with the NRL when they expire at the end of the 2022 season?
We don’t know how much of the $50 million to $60 million discount was split between Nine and Fox Sports but V’landys was able to renegotiate Fox Sports deal past 2022 to 2027. V’landys describes the terms of the five-year extension as “commercial-in-confidence” but it was good news for the Murdoch owned company who, in the words of one Fox executive, “can’t get enough of rugby league.”

If Fox Sports took a small slice of the $50 million to $60 million in order for the NRL to be sufficiently cashed up to fund its clubs in 2020 – in exchange for a longer deal – it also demonstrates what a great short term outcome Nine received.

The AFL gained extensions with both its broadcasters, Seven and Foxtel, delivering $946 million over 2023-24, or an average of $473 million per year.
Considering the NRL was scheduled to receive approximately $340 million in 2021, now reduced by at least $27.5 million as a result of Nine’s discount, the gap with AFL seems likely to grow.
 
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Kwality

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Interesting take on motor mouth V'Landys trying to hide the loss of TV income by Roy Masters in the SMH today.


NRL’s neck-to-knee financials can’t conceal broadcast revenue hit
Roy Masters
By Roy Masters
March 2, 2021 — 8.50am


It was American economist Aaron Levenstein who compared statistics to a bikini, saying, “what they reveal is suggestive but what they conceal is vital.”
Based on the recently published NRL financial accounts, ARLC chair Peter V’landys is dressing the code in a top-to-ankle swimsuit.


For the first time since 2012, the accounts for the financial year ended October 31, 2020, do not reveal income from broadcasting.
Instead, total revenue is shown as $417.273 million, rather than divided into broadcast and non-broadcast revenue, as it was in 2019.

Broadcast revenue from Nine Entertainment, Fox Sports and Telstra represents the greatest source of income to the governing body, suggesting that V’landys clearly wants to shield it from public view.
Perhaps he doesn’t want to reveal the extent to which the code took a hit from broadcasters as a result of the COVID-19 disrupted season, compared to the AFL.
However, it is possible to tease out the NRL 2020 broadcasting income by examining the cost of non-broadcast revenue.


The margin for non-broadcast revenue is historically around 50 per cent. In 2020, the costs of earning (accountants call this COGS – Cost of Goods Sold), the non-broadcast revenue, was $65.445 million, listed in the financials as “Event, Game and Sponsorship”.

This is the amount of money spent on putting on the show. To establish the non-broadcast revenue number, you simply multiply the COGS of $65.445 million by two, meaning the non-broadcast revenue was around $130.89 million.
Subtracting $130.89 million from the published total revenue of $417.273 million, reveals broadcast revenue to be $286.383 million, or $274.865 million if JobKeeper is excluded.
Pre COVID-19 broadcast revenue for 2020 was estimated to be $330 million, meaning the NRL gave broadcasters an approximate $50 million to $60 million discount.
The exact figure will be known when the NRL is obliged to lodge its accounts with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in approximately 30 days time.

The AFL’s financial report showed its broadcast revenue dropped by $45 million from $397 million received in 2019, compared to the NRL’s discount of $50 million to $60 million on 2019 broadcast income of $324.6 million.

In other words, the NRL took a bigger hit on lesser income.

This is understandable, given reports Nine’s Hugh Marks threatened to further disrupt the resumption of the already shortened NRL season with legal action, unless he reached a satisfactory discount.

However, V’landys also gave Nine further discounts of $27.5 million for each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons, according to information forwarded to the Australian Stock Exchange.



More significantly, what will be the position if Nine, having been awarded generous discounts, doesn’t renew its free-to-air rights with the NRL when they expire at the end of the 2022 season?
We don’t know how much of the $50 million to $60 million discount was split between Nine and Fox Sports but V’landys was able to renegotiate Fox Sports deal past 2022 to 2027. V’landys describes the terms of the five-year extension as “commercial-in-confidence” but it was good news for the Murdoch owned company who, in the words of one Fox executive, “can’t get enough of rugby league.”

If Fox Sports took a small slice of the $50 million to $60 million in order for the NRL to be sufficiently cashed up to fund its clubs in 2020 – in exchange for a longer deal – it also demonstrates what a great short term outcome Nine received.

The AFL gained extensions with both its broadcasters, Seven and Foxtel, delivering $946 million over 2023-24, or an average of $473 million per year.
Considering the NRL was scheduled to receive approximately $340 million in 2021, now reduced by at least $27.5 million as a result of Nine’s discount, the gap with AFL seems likely to grow.
Can this be moved to a more appropriate thread?
 

RussellEbertHandball

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From the Chairman's Report ie Page 4 of WCE's 2020 Annual Report. Was a zero dropped and they mean 80,000 members and not 8,000??


Obviously it has been a very difficult year for our whole community and our thoughts are with everyone. We
began the season without knowing if we would play games at all, and then whether or not we would be able
to have any attendees. To eventually play 5 home games with reduced crowds and then to be able to
ultimately record a small surplus is a great credit to the hard work and extreme diligence and sacrifice of all
employees at our club and the support of all of our stakeholders. Of note, the loyalty of all of our members has
been outstanding, in particular the approximately 8,000 who pledged all or part of their annual fee and oursponsors who showed great willingness to take a very flexible approach to the benefits that they received.


We now look forward with hope to a more normalised season in order to provide our people with the best
possible entertainment, interaction, connection and return on investment. We know however there are still
risks and we will again seek to handle these as best as we can if necessary. Financially we are aware that there
will still be many in the community with difficulties and we expect our 2021 revenue to fall well below that of
2019,
but we will continue to be prudent and conservative in order to deliver the required returns.
 

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