19/02/2020 - 16:14

Dockers dented by annual loss

19/02/2020 - 16:14

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A 10 per cent fall in membership revenue and a spike in administration, marketing and redundancy costs have conspired to deliver a $1.6 million annual loss for the Fremantle Dockers.

Dockers dented by annual loss
Simon Garlick says the club remains in a strong financial position despite the results.

A 10 per cent fall in membership revenue and a spike in administration, marketing and redundancy costs have conspired to deliver a $1.6 million annual loss for the Fremantle Dockers.

The details behind the annual loss, announced yesterday, have been revealed in the club’s annual return with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The $1.6 million loss, for the year to October 31 2019, followed a small profit of $326,000 in the prior year.

It was on the back of a small drop in total revenue to $57.8 million.

Within this total, membership revenue fell by 10.4 per cent to $18.5 million.

Notably, this is higher than at most AFL clubs, although a long way short of industry leaders like the West Coast Eagles and Richmond.

On the other side of the ledger, marketing expenses jumped 25 per cent to $2.2 million and administration costs were up 10.7 per cent to $9.6 million.

The club also incurred termination benefits for key management personnel of $774,000, up from $246,000. This presumably relates, in part, to former chief executive Steve Rosich.

Fremantle is also understood to have made a payout to former coach Ross Lyon. That would have been included in football expenses, up 4.7 per cent to $27 million.

This figure also includes player payments of about $12.8 million, in line with the AFL’s 2019 salary cap.

The club said the majority of the increase in administration expenses was due to increased IT, facility and depreciation costs, as well as costs associated with a restructure of club personnel.

Its total staff numbers at the end of October were 146, little changed from one year earlier.

Current chief executive Simon Garlick said the club remained in a strong financial position despite the result.

“While the loss of more than $1.6 million is significant, it was part of a conscious club reset, so we are confident it is a one-off and look forward to continuing to build on our strong financial foundation, highlighted by being one of only a handful of AFL clubs to be debt free with positive cash reserves,” Mr Garlick said in a statement.

“We are also pleased to continue to make a strong contribution to grassroots football through our recently signed royalty agreement with the WA Football Commission.”

Mr Garlick highlighted several other positives for the club.

"We have a strong and loyal supporter base and for the sixth consecutive year remain on track to exceed 50,000 members in 2020," he said.

“The 60,000-seat capacity of Optus Stadium provides us with a tremendous opportunity to grow as we look for sustained success on the field."

The Eagles have not yet posted their 2019 annual results.

However, in the 2018 financial year, the club posted an operating profit of $7.6 million on total revenue of $82.3 million.

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