Toast North Melbourne Debt free

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giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
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How the Kangaroos turned a $9 million headache into a debt-free future



Facing a $9 million black hole in the years after rejecting the AFL’s carrot to move to the Gold Coast, North Melbourne has completed a stunning financial recovery.

Glenn McFarlane

November 18, 2021 - 8:33PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom





North Melbourne is finally debt-free for the first time in more than a generation, which represents an extraordinary $9 million turnaround across the past decade.

The once cash-strapped Kangaroos now have money in the bank and a locked-in future at their traditional Arden St home base after posting a 13th profit from the last 14 seasons, despite a second year of Covid interruptions.


The club was precariously placed when it owed as much as $9 million in the years after rejecting a massive financial carrot from the AFL in late 2007 to turn its back on Melbourne and relocate to the Gold Coast.
[PLAYERCARD]Jack Ziebell[/PLAYERCARD] is the veteran leader of a young, exciting side. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Jack Ziebell is the veteran leader of a young, exciting side. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Some externally feared the weight of that debt – as well as the crippling interest repayments – made them one of the most vulnerable AFL clubs.
But, in keeping with the club’s famous Shinboner Spirit, the Kangaroos have spectacularly defied the doomsayers to not only get themselves out of debt, but also maintain their own identity and footprint in the suburb that gave them birth.

Club president Ben Buckley and chief executive Ben Amarfio will make the announcement at a special media conference at Arden Street on Friday morning.

Some astute financial management from Amarfio and past chief executives Eugene Arocca and Carl Dilena across the past 10 years, much-needed sponsorship dollars and an ongoing commitment of the club’s loyal members, especially through the pandemic, helped to turn the tide.
[PLAYERCARD]Luke McDonald[/PLAYERCARD] and coach David Noble have won the respect of the AFL. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Luke McDonald and coach David Noble have won the respect of the AFL. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
North Melbourne had not been debt-free since 1987, which means this is the first time the club has not carried any debt since the start of the national competition.

All the while the Kangaroos have continued to invest in football programs and facilities at their base in recent years, and will continue to do so.
Amarfio told the Herald Sun last year that the Kangaroos had made it a priority to become debt-free, after finishing 2020 only $400,000 left in arrears. They have since wiped that off.

“We are really proud of the financial position we have put ourselves in,” Amarfio said.
“We have wiped, I think, over $9 million of debt in the last decade.

“I think it is a great testament to the board, to the previous management teams and previous staff who have done a great job over that decade.”

The news caps off a great week for North Melbourne following on from the signing of experienced midfielder Hugh Greenwood after a Gold Coast list miscalculation backfired.
Greenwood will reunite with Kangaroos senior coach David Noble, with whom he worked at Adelaide.

North Melbourne has also been able to lock in coaching great Paul Roos for another season as a mentor and leadership consultant to the coaching group.

Roos is currently in Hawaii, but he was able to come to terms with the club this week and played a big role in helping to guide the coaching staff this year.
 

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Lomas

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Nov 4, 2020
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I don't want to be the debt free grinch, but now is the time to be taking on debts for investments. The fact that we have to celebrate being debt free to avoid relocation talk is a sad reflection on the afl industry.
 

trooroo4life

Norm Smith Medallist
May 17, 2009
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Caro will be crying herself to sleep this evening.

In all seriousness, what an amazing achievement. The future is as bright as ever at Arden St. Good on the club getting everyone involved with the announcement tomorrow there’s a lot of key people no longer at the club who deserve their kudos.
 

Chadwiko

@ChadwikoTWW
Sep 25, 2004
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Said it in the other thread, but huge credit & kudos for this goes to Amarfio and the entire board.

As mentioned in the article, a big amount of recognition for Euge and Dilena too, who were valued stewards of the club as well.
 

The Filth Wizard

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Won’t stop all the relocation talk, but it’s a great effort from all. Destiny is in our hands.

It won't stop it from morons but to be fair, they're morons.

Agreed though it's a wonderful effort. Crazy to think we've been in debt since the VFL era. Thankfully we got some guys in a decade-ish back that realised it wasn't something we could course by on.

We've upgraded to "not rich" but now we can really invest in our future in North Melbourne.
 

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berniemccarthy

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Aug 15, 2009
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I don't want to be the debt free grinch, but now is the time to be taking on debts for investments. The fact that we have to celebrate being debt free to avoid relocation talk is a sad reflection on the afl industry.
A level of debt is sensible for most businesses but not in the politically charged AFL. It is the stick with which the bastards beat us. We have removed the stick.
 

Lomas

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Nov 4, 2020
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A level of debt is sensible for most businesses but not in the politically charged AFL. It is the stick with which the bastards beat us. We have removed the stick.
I agree. Hence it is yet another disadvantage.
 

ChopChopDigDig

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Jun 3, 2013
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I like that this comes at the same time of the Arden upgrades. Facility improvement is a never ending cycle. You pay off one project, then borrow more to begin the next.

With the Arden precinct, the upgrades will be happening without us going into debt. Meaning we have a few years to save while Arden is finished, plan for the next big thing the club needs, and minimise the next round of debt.
 

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