Collingwood shows it's the biggest when it comes to off-field power with massive profit

25 November 2013 11:32 AM

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Collingwood shows it's the biggest when it comes to off-field power with massive profit

COLLINGWOOD re-affirmed its status as the AFL's biggest financial powerhouse by posting a net operating profit of more than $5.2 million for the past season.

And if you include two grants - $10 million from the Federal Government and $1.15 million from the Melbourne and Olympic Park Trusts - the club's overall net profit swells out to more than $16.3 million.

As the debate over equalisation and revenue sharing hots up at AFL Commission and club levels, the Magpies have once more blown their rivals out of the water with their financial bottom line.

Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert dismissed suggestions the club's swelling booty compared to many struggling AFL clubs was a sign that the AFL needed to take a harder line on equalisation.

"Revenue sharing is already happening - the debate at the moment is whether there needs to be more," Pert said.

"Collingwood very much supports having that debate and discussion, even though there are quite clearly pros and cons.

"A key part of that revenue sharing program is that the clubs, with the support of the AFL, need to very quickly get themselves to industry best practices to ensure the money is being maximised in every opportunity."

Collingwood lifted its annual turnover to more than $75 million, raising its year-to-year revenue by $2.6 million, largely off the back of record club membership of 80,456.

The club's football department spend was also boosted to $22,459,510, up from $21,167,238 last year. The club has net assets of more than $35 million and is now effectively debt-free.

"As per our promise to supporters, the profits will continue to be invested back into the club's two key stakeholders, being the playing group and fans," Pert said.

"This year we invested an extra $600,000 into our membership services and an extra $1.3 million into our football department.

"The rest of the club profits are earmarked to help fund the new community facilities bordering our Westpac Centre training ground, which will require extra club funding of $15 million over the next three years.

"It has never been more important in Australian sport to be financially sustainable, to be able to determine our own future, retain our identity and protect our brand."

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said: "The club's strong financial position has allowed us to create the ultimate Collingwood vision of Australian sport's best training and administrative complex, a facility that can hold its own against the best sports clubs around the world.

"We know that to provide our players, coaches and staff with the best facilities and opportunities to succeed in an increasingly difficult environment that we must remain financially healthy and independent.

"The next development phase will be pay off (the facility) for our social club members and the broader community.

"With a special focus on women's sports and fitness activities, it stands to be a wonderful asset for the people of Melbourne."

Collingwood's annual general meeting will take place on February 11 next year, at the MCG.

Source: heraldsun.com.au

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