AFL targets stadium deals, expansion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL targets stadium deals, expansion

11/03/2009 08:15:26 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has targetted Melbourne stadium deals, as well as the two expansion projects, as their key executive goals this year as the economic crisis bites.

The league has announced a record revenue of $302 million, up by six per cent and the first time it has gone above $300 million in a financial year.

But AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick has warned that the competition will have to watch expenditure in the midst of the global downturn.

He has also strongly defended lucrative pay packages for chief executive Andrew Demetriou and other top league officials.

"We are entering a tough period where we face a downturn in the economy, which will put pressure on the AFL and its clubs," Evans said.

"The AFL is addressing this with strict cost control.

"The issue of securing better financial returns from stadium deals, particularly at (Etihad Stadium) and the MCG, along with satisfactory progress with the Gold Coast and western Sydney expansion, will be a key focus of executive success in 2009."

Several Melbourne-clubs are growing increasingly concerned about stadium deals and want the AFL to intervene, warning their futures might be in jeopardy.

The AFL has also revealed the package for chief executive Andrew Demetriou is up to $1.596 million, up from $1.4 million last year, while the total pay for the league's executive is $4.68 million.

"The executive team is assessed on a range of different categories and how the game is going and we have growth at all levels," Evans said.

"This leadership team has taken us through a period of extended growth and has ensured that the AFL is not only the leading sport in the country but one that has committed to ploughing $1.4 billion into the football community between 2007-2011.

"The last media rights deal underpinned that investment and that growth and also underpinned the biggest ever investment in our AFL clubs, in community facilities and community football and in expanding the reach of our game."

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