The West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers’ remain the financial engine of the Western Australian Football Commission, with a strong 2013-14 financial year helping to reduce debt by $3.9 million to $6.5 million.
West Coast was among the AFL’s most profitable clubs last year despite a relative lack of on-field success, reporting a net profit of $4.7 million.
Fremantle’s profit was more modest, at $215,729, but both clubs ranked in the top seven in the AFL in terms of revenue.
West Coast paid the WAFC $6.4 million in rent at Domain Stadium and royalty payments, but was still able to turn a profit that was easily the highest in the AFL, eclipsing back-to-back reigning premiers Hawthorn by around $1.2 million.
The Dockers paid the WAFC $5.1 million in royalties and rent.
West Coast is also easily the AFL’s most cashed-up club, with more than $40 million in cash in the bank, funds that are expected to go towards moving its training and administration headquarters to Lathlain in coming years.
Taking into account the profits of Freo and the Eagles, the WAFC posted a net profit of $3.1 million, up from $953,320 in 2013.
The WAFC has signalled its intention to bid for the rights to manage the new Perth Stadium and is currently preparing an expression of interest as part of the state government’s tender process.
WAFC chief executive Gary Walton said in the commission’s annual report that new revenue-generating opportunities at Domain Stadium would continue to be explored, including bidding for more events outside of AFL games.