Today the Melbourne Football Club announced that it has reported an operating loss of $1,580,419 for the year ending 31 October 2019.
It is important for members to appreciate that this loss will not add to the Club’s current debt, as it will be covered by existing cash reserves.
After a very promising financial start to the season, that saw strong membership growth with a Club membership record of 52,516, the majority of revenue streams were soon heavily affected by a disappointing on-field performance of the AFL team.
Home game gate receipts were impacted by on-field performance, especially in the back half of the year. This was exacerbated by the fact that for the first time neither the Queen’s Birthday nor ANZAC Eve blockbusters were home games for the Club.
In addition, 2019 was the first time in 25 years that the Club operated without the revenue from the Leighoak gaming venue, due to the fact it was sold in 2018. This removed a $901,000 income stream from the Club’s operations. As members are aware, the decision to sell Leighoak in 2018 was part of the Club’s strategic decision to transition out of gaming.
The Club’s Balance Sheet remains in a strong position, underlined by property holdings of $8.7mil and an investment portfolio of $7.58mil.
The Club has continued its debt reduction strategy by paying off a further $628,000 during the year, reducing the debt balance to two million dollars.
This continues the Club’s commitment to eliminate its debt balance, which has reduced by $6.2mil since 2013.
“There’s no doubt that announcing a loss of over $1.5mil is a bitterly disappointing financial result, and a reflection of a Club which finished 17th on the ladder,” CEO Gary Pert told Melbourne Media.
“It’s important to reiterate to members our strong balance sheet has allowed us to fully cover the revenue shortfall with our cash reserves and pay down our debt, which now sits at two million dollars.
“A significant amount of changes have been made in the off season to ensure we give ourselves every chance to bounce back both on and off the field, and I hope Melbourne supporters are quietly excited about the possibilities in 2020.
“I want to thank our members and supporters for their continued loyalty. We are a member-based Club and still rely heavily on our members for their support.”