Power here to stay, says AFL boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Power here to stay, says AFL boss

Justin Chadwick 16/08/2011 06:37:42 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has told Port Adelaide fans not to worry about the state of their struggling club, declaring the Power have a bright future despite their dire financial position and woeful form.

Port Adelaide has become the AFL's basketcase this year, with the club's multi-million dollar debts coinciding with their worst run of on-field performances since entering the competition in 1997.

The Power, who sit last on the table with just two wins to their name, have suffered losses of 165 and 138 points over the past two weeks, leaving even their most loyal fans disgusted by what they see.

But Demetriou was confident the league's multi-million dollar assistance package and Port Adelaide's move to the more profitable Adelaide Oval in 2014 would ensure the long-term survival of the club.

"The Port Adelaide Football Club has challenges ahead of it but (supporters) shouldn't worry about ... their financial position, because the AFL and the SANFL have put together a financial package that secures Port Adelaide's future," Demetriou said in Perth on Tuesday.

"They've got no issues relating to their finances.

"What Port Adelaide have to do, as we all know, is appoint a CEO.

"They've made changes to their board, they've got a supportive owner in the SANFL and they're three years away from going to Adelaide Oval, so the future is bright.

"What they need to do is put some resources around their coach Matty Primus, they need to get some new talent into the team because they've got to replenish their playing group and all of that will take time.

"So I guess the message would be (to) be patient, but don't worry about any financial issues because the Port Adelaide Football Club isn't going anywhere."

Demetriou's comments came in the wake of rumours that past Port Adelaide players and influential businessmen were formulating a plan to oust Power president Brett Duncanson.

Port Adelaide's dreadful form couldn'thave come at a worse time, with the Power to be denied the best young talent in the country at this year's national draft, due to the generous concessions to be handed to incoming club Greater Western Sydney.

Demetriou acknowledged the compromised draft would probably lengthen Port Adelaide's rebuild, but said there were also ways around it.

"They're just going to have to do what other clubs have done and start being very clever about trading and who they choose, like Richmond have done," Demetriou said.

Those words will be of little comfort to Power fans who, no doubt, are well aware that the 13th-placed Tigers haven't reached the finals since 2001.

Meanwhile, Demetriou confirmed the AFL would make a contribution to Western Australia's planned new 60,000-seat stadium at Burswood, which is expected to be completed by 2018 at a cost of around $700 million.

But with the league locked in heated negotiations with the AFL Players' Association over a new pay deal, Demetriou said the size of the contribution was yet to be determined.

"I've assured the Minister (for Sport and Recreation Terry Waldron) that we'll make a contribution once we're aware of what the planning is ... and once I know how much money I've got left after we've dealt with the players," Demetriou said.

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