AFL reassures Port they have a future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL reassures Port they have a future

Steve Larkin 22/08/2011 04:48:39 PM Comments (0)

The AFL have reassured debt-ridden Port Adelaide they have a place in the competition despite woeful results on and off the field.

The AFL commission on Monday met Port's board as the club spirals towards its first wooden spoon and fourth consecutive year of heavy financial loss.

With reported losses approaching $6.25 million since 2008, Port have been gifted $9 million to survive the next three years.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said Port's predominantly young players had been "thrown to the wolves" by first-year coach Matthew Primus.

Primus' painful rebuilding has returned just two wins and, this season, the club has recorded its two lowest home crowds.

But Demetriou said the $9m donation from the AFL and Port's licence holder, the SANFL, would ensure the club survived.

"We reassured the Port Adelaide Football Club that they have the total support of the AFL and again reiterated that they are a very important and vital part of our competition," Demetriou told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.

"We will do everything we can to help them rebuild their football club, together with the SANFL.

" ... They should put at the bottom of their list of worries the financial situation at the club because we have assured that through the financial package."

Demetriou said the AFL supported a revival plan detailed by the Port board on Monday.

Port remain without a chief executive officer following Mark Haysman's resignation seven weeks ago and grim finances mean they're among the league's lowest spenders on the football department.

"They have improved their board substantially ... they are going about the right process to appoint a CEO," Demetriou said.

"They want to invest further in their football department to put some support around Matthew Primus.

"I think they have got some strategic imperatives around building their balance sheet which are very encouraging.

"The Port Adelaide balance sheet is actually pretty good compared to a lot of our other clubs."

But Demetriou conceded Port, for the fourth successive year, would post a financial loss.

"They will report a loss but you have got to remember a $3 million injection has gone into the football club from the SANFL and AFL, so that reduces their loss ... we are not asking for that to be paid back," he said.

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