It has been. We had $1,701,500 in interest bearing loans and borrowings in 2015, was down to 1,250,000 in 2016, dropping under $1m is good but with interest rates flooring the cost of managing the debt hasn't been significant for some time.
However, it is worth noting that this is legacy debt which isn't really doing anything productive, we are just repaying money the previous generation accumulated. We shouldn't see as all debt being evil, if we are ever to build anything new or worthwhile, we will have to go into debt to afford it.
As others have alluded to, the cost of servicing the current debt is f*ckall of a % - committing funds to paying it off now rather than managing over time gives rise to opportunity costs; investing funds in some way rather than paying off the debt can generate more cash than simply paying off the debt would save and equals a net gain.
It's also worth considering that managing the debt while upping/maintaining our football department spending, which was something we'd been sorely lacking in for a long time, is the more appropriate way to designate funds. If we restricted FD spending to pay off the debt, our on field performance may suffer which has further consequences to our bottom line in the way of poorer match day attendance and membership.
Debt is is no way inherently bad, but the debilitating debt we once had is.
It's great we can afford to have a down year now. Hope they don't go into full 'tighten the purse strings' mode to compensate. I'm sure they won't because this club is being run pretty damn well operationally to get where it is.
Makes me wonder, the last few seasons of being almost-rans, winning enough to keep people interested.. maybe a game of 4d chess leading us to be debt free-ish at the right time to strike?
/removes tinfoil hat
I'm a true roo for life member, so my money is taken out automatically.
I think I receive a statement before the start of every season just reminding me what type of membership I have. If you want to change things you just contact the club
Initially I gave extra for the debt demolition when I was told that the debt would be gone in 5 years. I opted out at last year because I felt like I was being taken advantage of and that debt demolition hasn't been the clubs main priority.
Perhaps - The Tassie deal is lucrative though.
The reserves team next year and the Women's league licence will be new expenditures next year.
I remember them saying the raffle money was going towards these two things, but I doubt will cover all.
I would predict a break even / small loss this year
Interest rates are low and have been for a while so the cost of servicing debt is low. Running a level of debt that you're comfortable with is fine when you weigh it against the opportunity cost of the other things you could be doing with the money.
We should be only be paying it down faster than we need to if we literally have spare money lying around, or via funds that are raised specifically for the purpose.
Mate around 2007 we had turnover (how much money comes in the door) of somewhere between $15m and $20m and debt of about $8m. Debt was about 50% of turnover.
In 2017 we have turnover of $40m and debt of 800k. Debt is now about 2% of turnover.
That's not just 'manageable', it's just bog-standard trading debt. Any time we want we could repay the $800k in a heart beat, but there's no real need or purpose. It is now a question of what we want to spend our money on, whereas a decade ago we had no choice in this regard.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - where we are now, our greatest existential threats are the AFL wanting to ship us off somewhere, and trying to keep up with the Joneses like the scum and the filth who happily throw millions upon millions of dollars at football and off-field operations in the desperate belief that you can win premierships by throwing money at the problem. We have lots of millions now but they have lots more millions than us, and their financial silliness creates an inflationary effect in the football operations marketplace - everyone from the coach to the bootstrapper starts think they're worth more money than they actually are. So long as we keep our heads and only spend on football ops what we earn (or less), then we make profits every year (and have been). It's only if we go crazy and start paying overs again that we will find ourselves back in bad debt land.
I opted in to pay the debt, I actually had to make a point of it when renewing my membership. I am happy to keep contributing but if there is no intention to put it towards the debt it would be nice if they nominated a project it was going towards.