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AFL records rare net loss while participation and membership rises
The AFL has posted its first net loss in a decade - declaring a deficit of $23.6 million in its 2011 Annual Report.
The loss has been blamed predominantly on the AFL's expansion plans in western Sydney and on the Gold Coast, but AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick says it's worth it.
Fitzpatrick today told media "the AFL commission is aiming to recoup the net loss during the next five years by generating profits of at least this amount."
The League recorded record revenue of $343 million, up 25, and an operating surplus of $234 million, up from $230 million.
Clubs were provided with total funding of $159 million.
Fitzpatrick explained "our strategic focus on the long-term future of Australian football ... has positioned the AFL strongly for the next five years and beyond."
Fitzpatrick said new television and digital media rights would be critical for financial growth in the near future, adding "these agreements will underpin the finances of the game from 2012-2016 ... which includes allocating more than $1 billion to AFL clubs under new equalisation and revenue-sharing arrangements."
The 2011 Annual Report also showed new highs in participation and membership:
• Record participation - 791,178 from 751,015;
• Record club membership- 650,373 compared to 614,251 in 2010;
• Total attendances for pre-season, season, finals - 7.488 million;
• Average attendance - 34,893 which the AFL claims puts the code into the top four of competition attendances in the professional sporting world:
• Grand final television audience - 3.524 million.
Interest in Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou's salary package focussed on his salary earning of $1.8 million, down from $2.2 million the year before.
Demetriou's salary included a base payment of $1.4 million and a $400,000 bonus and was higher in 2010 because he received a long-term retention bonus.
Explaining the Chief Executive's renummeration, Mike Fitzpatrick added that the total package was justified by the success and growth of the game, stating "the AFL's executive salary packages reflect this reality and reward the achievement of key targets whilst ensuring we retain our valued team.
"The commission commends Andrew and his executive team, as well as all AFL staff across Australia, for their considerable efforts and achievements during 2011.
"It was a successful year that has enabled the commission to set an ambitious agenda for the next five years."
7th August 2009 - AFL AGREES NEW MCG DEAL
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