AFL must tackle club money woes: Kennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL must tackle club money woes: Kennett

Sam Lienert 07/08/2011 02:20:30 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says the proportion of AFL clubs that rely on league handouts to stay afloat raises questions about the competition's financial stability.

Kennett said he expected half of the 18 clubs next season would need AFL special assistance.

The Hawthorn president, whose six-year tenure will finish at the end of this season, said while the AFL remained Australia's premier sporting code, its executives should not let "hubris" cause them to downplay the issue.

"We've got a lot of work to do within the AFL as we go into next season," Kennett told a pre-match function at Launceston's Aurora Stadium on Sunday.

"There's no doubt in my mind that at least half the clubs will fundamentally be in administration.

"By that, I mean they will be dependent on the AFL for continuing financial support above the dividend that is paid to each club, in order to keep them financial.

"It is an issue that has to be addressed. It cannot be ignored. You cannot have a healthy competition if more than half of the clubs are fundamentally under administration.

"It brings up the question of the sustainability of the code.

"We can cover up the cracks if we wish, but there is something more deep-seated."

Kennett, attending his final match in Tasmania as Hawks president, also criticised AFL bosses for not attending a game in the island state during his time.

"The chairman of the AFL Commission, nor the CEO, nor any commissioner has seen fit to come down to a game here in Tasmania," he said.

"I say that with deep heart, because the Tasmanian community, 500,000 of them, per capita are more pro-AFL football than any other community."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard attended the opening of a new 2125-seat stand at Aurora Stadium on Sunday, bringing the venue's capacity to 21,000.

It replaced a stand which was damaged by fire in 2008.

The federal and state governments and Launceston city council jointly contributed most of the $9.9 million cost, with the Hawks ($300,000) and AFL ($200,000) also helping.

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