Blues hit blue blood fans for cash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues hit blue blood fans for cash

By Adam Morton 19/02/2003 06:39:11 AM Comments (0)

Carlton turned to its wealthiest supporters at an exclusive dinner aimed at reversing the club's financial woes.

President Ian Collins and dual premiership captain Mike Fitzpatrick launched a fundraising drive before 400 invited guests at Melbourne's Grand Hyatt hotel, raising more than $400,000.

Collins said it was an important to start the drive by asking people "who have been close to the Carlton Football Club over many years" to show their commitment to its survival.

Collins inherited the largest debt of all AFL clubs - more than $8 million - when he took over the presidency from John Elliott last November.

"This is an important initiative for the Carlton Football Club as we are facing a very critical period in our proud history and must commence the rebuilding and re-branding of our club immediately," Collins told reporters.

He said the drive would be expanded to include all Carlton supporters.

"We really do want to spread the net ... to ensure that we do capture those supporters who have followed the club for many years but haven't made a contribution - we're talking about (becoming) members," he said.

Collins confirmed the John Elliott Stand at Optus Oval would be renamed the Carlton Heroes Stand.

Supporters who donate $1,000 or more will be named "Carlton Heroes" and have their names on honour boards in both the newly-named stand and in the social club.

Fitzpatrick, who captained the Blues to back-to-back premierships in 1981-82 but has no official role at the club, downplayed speculation he would take on an ongoing leadership position.

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