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Merger no saviour for Power: Demetriou

By Tim Dornin 11/02/2010 05:16:17 PM Comments (0)

A merger between AFL side Port Adelaide and the Port Adelaide Magpies would not save the Power from their financial woes, AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says.

With the AFL side forecast to be $7.7 million in debt by the end of 2012, the merger plan was suggested as a way to save the cash-strapped Magpies in the SANFL and help boost the Power's bottom line.

But the deal was blocked by the SANFL Commission and the other SANFL clubs this week, putting to one side any requirement for the AFL to endorse the proposal.

Demetriou said the issue of the merger and the fate of the Magpies in the local competition was something for the parties involved to resolve.

But he said a merger in itself "is not going to be the saviour of the Port Adelaide Football Club".

"There's some significant structural issues which we're working with them on," he told reporters in Adelaide on Thursday.

Demetriou said the AFL remained very concerned, but was not surprised by the extent of Port Adelaide's financial problems and had been working on the issue for some time.

He remained optimistic and believed the 2004 premiers were on the right path.

"All I can say is the Port Adelaide Football Club is on the march," he said.

"They have a couple of new coaches, they're recruited exceptionally well, they're doing some wonderful things off the field.

"While they've got a situation at the moment where they're predicting a loss, we're going to work with the Port Adelaide Football Club and the SANFL to turn that around."

Part of the issue for the Power is their deal to play at AAMI Stadium and the share of the takings they receive for home games.

Demetriou said the AFL understood the club's concerns and had established a working party to explore new revenue opportunities for the Power and rival club Adelaide.

"We're looking at how the pie can be cut up," he said.

"The clubs understand that they've fallen behind ... but there's enormous goodwill to try to get better outcomes.

"These things always take longer than people expect. They're not easy things to resolve."

Meanwhile, the AFL boss also described as "very onerous" the potential sporting penalties that might be imposed on Geelong's Mathew Stokes.

Stokes has been charged with trafficking and possessing cocaine and the Cats have already banned him from playing in their senior side until round eight of the regular season.

If convicted of trafficking, Stokes could face a life ban under the World Anti Doping Agency's code.

"We're signatories to that and we have got no dispute whatsoever with that code," Demetriou said.

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