AFL clubs bank higher profits in 2009 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL clubs bank higher profits in 2009

23/03/2010 07:14:15 PM Comments (0)

AFL clubs defied the global financial crisis to earn more money in 2009, although fewer fans attended games, according to figures released by the league on Tuesday.

Clubs earned a combined $574 million in 2009, up by more than $14 million from 2008, although the Brisbane Lions, Sydney and Port Adelaide all recorded operating losses.

Clubs also earned more in sponsorship revenue, up by four per cent to $91 million, and attracted more members, but earnings in corporate hospitality were down by $5 million on 2008 figures.

In releasing the league's financial review, chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the results reflected the strong work ethic of clubs given the difficult economy.

"The financial crisis showed a clear impact on clubs with a significant drop in their returns from corporate hospitality and events," Demetriou said.

"Despite that, our clubs were able to take total membership to a record level of 586,748 and clubs were able to build the total number of sponsorship packages they were able to partner with companies, which recognised the strong value of an agreement with an AFL club."

West Coast recorded the best financial return of 2009, with an operating profit of $3.7 million, while Hawthorn attracted the highest membership of more than 52,000.

The increased membership figures did not convert into an increase in attendances.

The total attendance for the season dropped by two per cent to 6.3 million, although that was still the third-highest figure in AFL history.

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