Financial survival of the AFL and its' 18 clubs

Which AFL clubs are in the most financial danger due to the Coronavirus situation?

  • Adelaide

    Votes: 5 3.2%
  • Brisbane

    Votes: 36 23.1%
  • Carlton

    Votes: 17 10.9%
  • Collingwood

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Essendon

    Votes: 10 6.4%
  • Fremantle

    Votes: 9 5.8%
  • Geelong

    Votes: 12 7.7%
  • Gold Coast

    Votes: 81 51.9%
  • Greater Western Sydney

    Votes: 48 30.8%
  • Hawthorn

    Votes: 8 5.1%
  • Melbourne

    Votes: 53 34.0%
  • North Melbourne

    Votes: 96 61.5%
  • Port Adelaide

    Votes: 38 24.4%
  • Richmond

    Votes: 12 7.7%
  • St. Kilda

    Votes: 108 69.2%
  • Sydney

    Votes: 16 10.3%
  • West Coast

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Western Bulldogs

    Votes: 55 35.3%

  • Total voters
    156

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footyfan1978

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If football could not start again for the whole of 2020, I genuinely fear for 18 clubs being able to survive.
I think the AFL got a loan with the aim to play at some point in 2020 and still able to go forward with all 18 clubs in 2021.

But if September goes by and football has not re-started I think we reach a stage where it becomes very hard for clubs in either most debt or smallest supporters bases to continue in an 18 club model. The AFL would then seriously have to consider it being a 16 club league going forward or even 14 if it becomes really bad financially. If only one club was in serious trouble I also believe you would bring Tasmania team into it as the 18th club to keep it as 18 but that would only happen if Tasmanian government were prepared to give same type of support they were intending to, for a Tassie club licence later in decade.
 

BringBackTorps

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1. All 18 AFL Clubs, & 14 AFLW teams, are virtually certain to remain in 2021- & for a very long time.

All 18 AFL clubs will permanently cut their Football Departments' expenditure by a total of $54m pa from 2021 (with similar reduction of $54m pa in AFL grants to the clubs).

There will also be many other major, permanent cuts that the 18 AFLclubs will make, as will the AFL HQ in staff & wages- to safeguard their viability, & long term prosperity.

These are general references to the further cuts being discussed.













EDIT:

2. Ch. 9 WWOS C.Wilson 16.3

"The AFL is on the verge of extending its current TV rights deal for 2 years...The AFL receives $418m per year, and according to Wilson, the same agreement (ie @ $418m pa-my words) will now continue to 2024"

"It will be announced in months, possibly 1 month" said Wilson, an award-winning, very experienced AFL journalist.

 
Last edited:

Kwality

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Be careful of the weasel words, club survives, what about an 18 club comp?

Having followed footy for a while I'd observe most/all clubs use more than 30 players in a season, talk of a 30 player list is show, not realistic even as a headline.
There clearly is a 2nd tier to top it up, who pays?
 

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Johnny Bananas

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If football could not start again for the whole of 2020, I genuinely fear for 18 clubs being able to survive.
I don't agree with this. The last thing the AFL will want to do in this turbulent time is to have their TV deal voided, because a new one would almost certainly be for less money. That's what the NRL are facing at the moment, and they will almost certainly have to cut clubs as a result.

The present AFL TV deal has to deliver 9 games, so I believe Gil when he says all 18 clubs will survive into next year, come hell or high water. The AFL have the funds to be able to do this, thanks to the bank loan they took out against Docklands.

If only one club was in serious trouble I also believe you would bring Tasmania team into it as the 18th club to keep it as 18 but that would only happen if Tasmanian government were prepared to give same type of support they were intending to, for a Tassie club licence later in decade.
Now this, I do agree with. I just don't think it's going to happen in the next year or two because of the AFL desiring stability and 9 games per week. But a few years down the line, if a club has very high debts and the AFL support through the present crisis has run out, I can see consolidation happening to fit in Tasmania.
 

Kwality

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it's going to happen in the next year or two
From October clubs will start paying interest to the AFL on their debt ..... how many clubs are actually solvent?
Why October, thats Balance date ..... with no distribution, no footy, how are the clubs looking, only 4 looking OK according to Gil, lets hope its over soon.
 

footyfan1978

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I don't agree with this.
It is not an opinion. It is a genuine fear. The financial repercussions of not playing any games this season and not even being able to start by March next year I fear would be enormous and the AFL do not have a never ending supply of funds. We are in the unknown in a big way if it goes that far of no games. I hope it does not come to that, but I certainly fear what no games for a full 12 months would do to clubs and the league as a whole. I'm sure the league would survive but not convinced we would get out of it without losing a club or two along the way. What if it goes two or three years without football? The AFL will try to get out of this with 18 clubs but Gil, like many of us has no idea how long until football games can be started again and even then, when crowds will be allowed again and if the money from outside sources can still be there if the economy on the whole is f’ed beyond repair.
 

Johnny Bananas

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It is not an opinion. It is a genuine fear.
A fear is an opinion. None of us know how long this crisis will go for or what the repercussions will be.

What if it goes two or three years without football?
If that happens, I can assure you we'll have much bigger problems than what happens to football.
 

Kwality

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The AFL will try to get out of this with 18 clubs but Gil, like many of us has no idea how long until football games can be started again and even then, when crowds will be allowed again and if the money from outside sources can still be there if the economy on the whole is f’ed beyond repair.
Dont think fear is appropriate, but any dose of reality tells me the competition will be significantly different to 2019. Clubs not living within their means has been the way since the old State League days, its been propped up more & more by the current administration, & imho that will stop willingly.

The business model of FTA TV is stressed, their advertising take has been falling even before Covid 19, dreams of a streaming bonanza are on hold for the foreseeable future, & a significantly reduced pay for view model could be on offer.
Watching your club games for a fee, would you pay $20 a game, $30? No frills.

The $600 mil loan by the AFL apparently has covenants on expenditure & it makes sense to believe budgets support that - 2019 expendture wont see the light of day anytime soon, I cant see 18 clubs surviving because I cant see the AFL & the clubs operating at that level.

Of course its easier for me to say as an Eagles supporter, but its no cause to smile, reality for the game is something we all face.
 

footyfan1978

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A fear is an opinion. None of us know how long this crisis will go for or what the repercussions will be.


If that happens, I can assure you we'll have much bigger problems than what happens to football.
No, fear is far more primal. Animals do not have opinions but they have fears.
and yes, the bigger problems beyond football is exactly the type of ongoing fear that is involved. If I fear that, I know what happens for football is not going to be good, hence it is fear, not really an opinion as such.
 

NoobPie

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Our Game

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Here is a reasonable rundown on where Channel 7 is up to, before any media money gets flashed about ....
from 2 Apr
sevens-strife-where-to-from-here/
All the TV companies are doing it hard esp Ch 7. It will be very interesting to see if they can survive the corona crisis in a viable form.
Foxtel will also have a question mark over its survival long term if they keep shedding subscribers at the current rate.Both between them account for 60% of the AFLs income Worrying times indeed!
 

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RedV3x

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Foxtel will also have a question mark over its survival long term if they keep shedding subscribers at the current rate.
Foxtel has been going down the tube for a while being replaced by subscription services.
Because subscription services offer cheaper and better targeted content then I see
more people taking up subscription services especially those people that were put off by the high cost of Foxtel package
which delivered little to many people who just wanted to watch their favourite sport.
 

Kwality

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Foxtel has been going down the tube for a while being replaced by subscription services.
Because subscription services offer cheaper and better targeted content then I see
more people taking up subscription services especially those people that were put off by the high cost of Foxtel package
which delivered little to many people who just wanted to watch their favourite sport.
:thumbsu: ... but do the subscription services include sport/pay the AFL comparable dollars.

Another issue for the inevitable root & branch review that must drive our sport forward.
 

RedV3x

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:thumbsu: ... but do the subscription services include sport/pay the AFL comparable dollars.
I don't know. The reality of the contract always depends on willingness to pay.
Foxtel want to hang onto what they've got. Another service wants to corner the market. The AFL wants to go itself etc.
Theoretically streaming services provide a much simpler model for costing and interpolation of results for growth.

Another issue for the inevitable root & branch review that must drive our sport forward.
Please explain. No idea.
 

BIRDBRAIN

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Just imagine what would happen to the AFL as an industry if games couldn't start by March 2021, memberships would plummet, no TV money, death.
 

Our Game

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"The $600 mil loan by the AFL apparently has covenants on expenditure & it makes sense to believe budgets support that - 2019 expendture wont see the light of day anytime soon, I cant see 18 clubs surviving because I cant see the AFL & the clubs operating at that level".

There are tens of millions to be saved by slashing the 600 staff that the AFL HQ had up to the current crisis.
Ive said for a long time that the AFL itself was a bloated quango sucking on the $400 million per year from the TV deals.10 Execs on $800,000 is just not sustainable in the future.
Hopefully this near death experience will make the AFL more prudent with the games income.
 

big_e

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"The $600 mil loan by the AFL apparently has covenants on expenditure & it makes sense to believe budgets support that - 2019 expendture wont see the light of day anytime soon, I cant see 18 clubs surviving because I cant see the AFL & the clubs operating at that level".

There are tens of millions to be saved by slashing the 600 staff that the AFL HQ had up to the current crisis.
Ive said for a long time that the AFL itself was a bloated quango sucking on the $400 million per year from the TV deals.10 Execs on $800,000 is just not sustainable in the future.
Hopefully this near death experience will make the AFL more prudent with the games income.
How many employees should the AFL have then?
 

Our Game

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How many employees should the AFL have then?
Not 600 and 10 exces on $800,000 + bonus (none of whom would get that sort of money in the real world) thats for sure
The only one that should be getting big money maybe $1,000,000 is the boss.The coming deep recession will sort this out.
 

big_e

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Not 600 and 10 exces on $800,000 + bonus (none of whom would get that sort of money in the real world) thats for sure
The only one that should be getting big money maybe $1,000,000 is the boss.The coming deep recession will sort this out.
So 599?

Do you know what job those who you want to get rid of actually do? Does it include umpires, for instance? Does it include people growing the game in Qld and NSW? The people who organise Auskick, and school visits and junior development and girls' footy and footy for disabled people or migrants? The integrity officer, who makes sure people get punished for betting on games, or abide by the salary cap? Those who deal with sponsors and broadcasters and everyone else who actually bring the money in? Or is it just some vague "ooh, 600's a lot to run a football league" nonsense?

And you clearly have no idea how much senior execs get in the real world.
 

Our Game

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So 599?

Do you know what job those who you want to get rid of actually do? Does it include umpires, for instance? Does it include people growing the game in Qld and NSW? The people who organise Auskick, and school visits and junior development and girls' footy and footy for disabled people or migrants? The integrity officer, who makes sure people get punished for betting on games, or abide by the salary cap? Those who deal with sponsors and broadcasters and everyone else who actually bring the money in? Or is it just some vague "ooh, 600's a lot to run a football league" nonsense?

And you clearly have no idea how much senior execs get in the real world.
Im not the only person saying the AFL is top heavy and some in the media are saying the same thing and as I said this crisis and the coming recession will sort it out and you will find a slimmed down AFL will survive OK!
 

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