Cash crisis worries Port players: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cash crisis worries Port players: coach

By Steve Larkin 03/06/2011 02:28:09 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide players are worried about the AFL club's cash crisis but money can't buy happiness at the debt-ridden entity, coach Matthew Primus says.

The AFL will soon detail a multi-million dollar rescue package to ensure the Power survive for the next three years.

Port's licence holder, the SANFL, this week said it could no longer afford to keep bailing out the club.

The AFL will insist most of rescue package funds flow to Port's football department, which is running at league-low levels about $6 million less than premiers Collingwood.

The financial crisis sparked fears Port - second last on the ladder with only two wins - could lose out-of-contract players such as Jackson Trengove and Alipate Carlile to cashed-up rivals.

But while conceding money spoke, Primus wasn't fazed at opposition clubs circling his stars.

"I'm not really concerned about it. What I'm concerned about is building a club here that has a great culture," Primus said on Friday.

"In the end, even though the circumstances of what is happening in AFL footy is changing with free agency and those sorts of things, I think still the camaraderie and the bond your playing group has is the biggest thing to keep your players at the club.

"And that is what we are working towards. If you're really strong in that regard, you give yourself the best opportunity of keeping your players."

Primus said Port players understood the predicament of their club, saying "I'm sure individually they are worried.

"Things could be better, no doubt about that," he said.

"But we understand where we are going and the support we have from the AFL and the SANFL.

"They (players) understand the predicament our club is in and they have an onus on them, to some degree, to play some very good football and to engage as well as we can with our fans and our sponsors."

Primus said Port and other clubs would face additional obstacles when the AFL introduced free agency at the end of next season.

"But we're very confident that we can battle through that," he said.

"And if our playing group are as tight as they are at the moment, considering what they have been through the last couple of months, we think that will hold us in pretty good stead.

"And in the end, that is the biggest thing in football.

"Money does speak, we're aware of that.

"But what speaks more than that is a love for the club and your love for playing with your mates.

"I think that is the biggest thing we can hang onto, and what I really see is this playing group have got it in spades."

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