JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Clubs hurting as AFL raises costs

<p></p>

We'll leave it there for today, folks. Thanks for all your questions and comments, some interesting issues raised again. Round four shapes as a ripper, at least four games worthy of headline billing, and across all three days, too. Enjoy, and we'll see you back here at midday next week.

AFL clubs are struggling to absorb a hefty and unexpected increase in costs imposed on them from league headquarters shortly before the season began.

The costs cover a range of items, such as iPhone apps, talent development and talent pathway fees, vision of games from behind the goals, grand final and Brownlow Medal ticket allocations and match-ball sponsorships.

The combined costs have forced clubs to find more than an extra $100,000 to cover expenses, and in the case of Collingwood and Geelong, who field stand-alone VFL sides and have been forced to find an extra $55,000 this year to fund them, more than $150,000.

Some estimates put the total amount to be recouped by the AFL from the clubs at more than $3 million.

But there is as much anger about the timing of the increases, which were only tabled in February.

Most clubs had signed off on their budgets for 2012 by October.

Their disquiet has forced the AFL's finance department to review the price rises, which have forced some of the less wealthy clubs to go to extremes to find the extra dollars.

"Everyone's been saying how ridiculous this is," said one chief executive, who wished to remain anonymous. ''It's come out of budget time, and out of nowhere with no warning, nothing.

''They're actually reviewing it now, trying to placate us before World War III happens."

Clubs were said to be stunned when, at their last meeting, the league executive briefed them on the resources being poured into the AFL's expanding media department, then announced they would be slugged $20,000 each for the iPhone app.

One source said when club chiefs questioned that cost, the response was, effectively, to "suck it up".

The timing of the increases has created problems even for the well-to-do. Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert, while welcoming measures such as the reduction of grand final corporate packages to enable more tickets to be distributed among competing clubs, said yesterday the timing had made life difficult for all clubs.

"It's complicated, the financial management of the clubs, and I would say in many cases, where clubs are either forecasting losses or very small profits, it's going to have a much bigger impact, and that needed to be given more consideration," Pert said yesterday.

"We certainly don't want to be seen as crying poor, but quite a few clubs have mentioned to me it was a real shock to them, and a big problem, which I fully understand. The AFL may say there's been discussions with the clubs about these things, but the point is that until the AFL advises you officially on it, you can't change your budgets."

Another club chief said an even bigger issue was various AFL departments virtually competing with clubs for the same revenue.

"The bloke who's running [AFL] events says he can make more money out of the Brownlow by whacking that up by $3000, then the talent pathway programs needs to find more money, and that sort of pressure from within is actually getting transferred onto the clubs," he said.

''Everyone's in the same boat on this with the timing," said another club chief, who said even those angriest about the charges were reluctant to speak publicly for fear of retribution.

"The poor clubs that are really haemorrhaging, struggling to find sponsors and with membership down, and all the ones on AFL handouts, can you imagine if they come out [publicly] on this stuff? They'd get belted mercilessly."

Clubs are angry about the "buyback" scheme for grand final tickets, where a club such as Hawthorn is offered $800 per ticket, but other, less financial clubs offered as little as $600.

Match-ball sponsorship is another bone of contention. Last year, clubs who had a ball sponsor paid $40,000. In 2012, they will pay $50,000.

The single biggest increase concerns the talent pathway fee, which takes in centralised video coverage, a TAC Cup levy, and the AFL draft combine.

30 comments

  • Match ball sponsorship is $50k? I'd be surprised if many people knew who the match ball sponsors were!

    Richmond's is HostPlus, by the way.

    I think the issue here isn't the increase in costs... it's the fact it's come well-after all budgets for 2012 have been locked-in by the clubs. Hence the difficulty.

    Commenter
    KentW
    Location
    Croydon South
    Date and time
    April 19, 2012, 9:29AM
    • I never realised the ball sponsor changed each match!

      Commenter
      Ben
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 19, 2012, 12:06PM
  • How can the AFL claim to be a non-for-profit organisation? Seriously.

    Commenter
    Hrm...
    Date and time
    April 19, 2012, 9:30AM
    • The AFL mastered 1984 type double speak a long, long time ago...

      Commenter
      Doc
      Location
      City
      Date and time
      April 19, 2012, 10:44AM
  • Talent Development at precisely $382, 911 but Match Ball Sponsorship, iPhone App & VFL Fee in whole figures of 50, 20 and 209 thousand. How does the AFL arrive at any of those & other figures? And exactly $20,000 for iPhone App? I guess thats to Apple but $360,000 for all 18 teams? Does the AFL get a cut? Somethings NQR.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    April 19, 2012, 9:40AM
    • $360,000 for a iphone app?! Even accounting for ongoing support, surely that's a bit rich. Don't the AFL already have a media department?

      Commenter
      Methuen
      Location
      Brunswick
      Date and time
      April 19, 2012, 9:40AM
      • The Iphone app is basically just all the same news content from the AFL website, only the videos work for Iphone whereas they dont work off the AFL website if your browsing on the Iphone.The App is nowhere near as good as the FREE footy live app. The $20k per club is unjustifiable

        Commenter
        Mick
        Location
        Melb
        Date and time
        April 19, 2012, 10:40AM
    • demetriou must resign, along with the rest of the board.

      Commenter
      STOAT666
      Location
      Richmond
      Date and time
      April 19, 2012, 10:31AM
      • The AFL is not for profit because it relies on a network of tens of thousands of slaves sometimes referred to as parents, volunteers, and other unwitting culprits. I should know, I''m one of the them.
        ie regime: "...if you disagree you get annihilated" Oils

        Commenter
        AFL SLAVE
        Location
        Perth
        Date and time
        April 19, 2012, 10:34AM
        • It seems as the years progress, AFL gets worse ... as far as A.D. is concerned, his back pocket is the first thing that enters his head. even little league has problems. mass exodus will fix it of course. Also its why i like the amateur sports e.g Union. some mighty great players and none of the politics! Just sport!!!!

          Commenter
          Union
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          April 19, 2012, 10:54AM

          More comments

          Comments are now closed

          Related Coverage

          2014 Home and Away

          Round 1
          Fri, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
          COL 46 vs FRE 116 Report Stats
          Sat, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
          GWS 99 vs SYD 67 Report Report Stats
          GCF 87 vs RIC 69 Report Stats
          Sun, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
          CAR 87 vs PTA 120 Report Stats
          Thu, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
          GEE 119 vs ADE 81 Report Stats
          Fri, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
          NTH 60 vs ESS 99 Report Stats
          Sat, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
          HAW 139 vs BRI 91 Report Stats
          STK 68 vs MEL 51 Report Stats
          Sun, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
          WCE 134 vs WBU 69 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 2
          Thu, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
          RIC 98 vs CAR 86 Report Stats
          Fri, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
          ESS 86 vs HAW 90 Report Stats
          Sat, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
          STK 95 vs GWS 88 Stats
          PTA 127 vs ADE 73 Report Stats
          FRE 87 vs GCF 39 Report Stats
          SYD 69 vs COL 89 Report Stats
          Sun, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
          BRI 68 vs GEE 93 Stats
          MEL 30 vs WCE 123 Report Stats
          WBU 54 vs NTH 83 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 3
          Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
          HAW 137 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
          Sat, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
          WBU 100 vs RIC 98 Report Stats
          ADE 71 vs SYD 134 Report Stats
          GCF 114 vs BRI 61 Stats
          WCE 83 vs STK 58 Report Stats
          COL 76 vs GEE 87 Report Stats
          Sun, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
          GWS 79 vs MEL 47 Report Stats
          NTH 97 vs PTA 90 Report Stats
          ESS 138 vs CAR 57 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 4
          Fri, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
          RIC 72 vs COL 110 Report Stats
          Sat, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
          CAR 58 vs MEL 81 Report Stats
          PTA 159 vs BRI 46 Report Stats
          GWS 83 vs WBU 110 Report Stats
          GEE 107 vs WCE 32 Report Stats
          GCF 49 vs HAW 148 Report Stats
          Sun, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
          SYD 48 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
          STK 50 vs ADE 136 Report Stats
          FRE 113 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 5
          Thu, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
          BRI 63 vs RIC 106 Report Stats
          Sat, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
          COL 93 vs NTH 58 Report Stats
          SYD 92 vs FRE 75 Report Stats
          WCE 56 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
          ESS 65 vs STK 81 Report Stats
          Sun, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
          ADE 137 vs GWS 72 Report Stats
          MEL 78 vs GCF 86 Report Stats
          WBU 91 vs CAR 119 Report Stats
          Mon, 21 AprTimes shown AEST
          GEE 106 vs HAW 87 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 6
          Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
          COL 83 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
          STK 79 vs BRI 82 Report Stats
          FRE 61 vs NTH 74 Report Stats
          Sat, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
          GCF 134 vs GWS 94 Report Stats
          CAR 92 vs WCE 89 Report Stats
          MEL 38 vs SYD 69 Report Stats
          Sun, 27 AprTimes shown AEST
          WBU 83 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
          RIC 52 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
          PTA 107 vs GEE 67 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 7
          Fri, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
          CAR 70 vs COL 104 Report Stats
          Sat, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
          HAW 175 vs STK 30 Report Stats
          GWS 97 vs PTA 132 Report Stats
          ADE 67 vs MEL 70 Report Stats
          BRI 44 vs SYD 123 Stats
          ESS 73 vs WBU 65 Report Stats
          Sun, 04 MayTimes shown AEST
          NTH 77 vs GCF 120 Report Stats
          GEE 81 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
          WCE 54 vs FRE 73 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 8
          Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
          SYD 107 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
          Sat, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
          PTA 94 vs FRE 76 Report Stats
          BRI 57 vs ESS 65 Report Stats
          MEL 83 vs WBU 99 Report Stats
          Sun, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
          WCE 188 vs GWS 77 Report Stats
          Mon, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
          STK 69 vs CAR 101 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 9
          Thu, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
          ADE 76 vs COL 55 Report Stats
          Fri, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
          ESS 64 vs SYD 114 Report Stats
          Sat, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
          RIC 74 vs MEL 91 Report Stats
          NTH 125 vs BRI 38 Report Stats
          FRE 96 vs GEE 64 Report Stats
          Sun, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
          STK 87 vs GCF 125 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 10
          Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
          GEE 111 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
          Sat, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
          GWS 41 vs RIC 154 Report Stats
          COL 109 vs WCE 101 Report Stats
          PTA 100 vs HAW 86 Report Stats
          Sun, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
          GCF 119 vs WBU 74 Report Stats
          CAR 81 vs ADE 76 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 11
          Thu, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
          SYD 148 vs GEE 38 Report Stats
          Fri, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
          STK 54 vs COL 140 Report Stats
          Sat, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
          MEL 75 vs PTA 95 Report Stats
          BRI 98 vs CAR 91 Report Stats
          ESS 104 vs RIC 54 Report Stats
          Sun, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
          ADE 109 vs GCF 77 Report Stats
          WBU 51 vs FRE 89 Report Stats
          HAW 94 vs GWS 87 Report Stats
          WCE 44 vs NTH 82 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 12
          Fri, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
          GEE 107 vs CAR 102 Report Stats
          Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
          HAW 123 vs WCE 79 Report Stats
          PTA 129 vs STK 59 Report Stats
          WBU 87 vs BRI 95 Report Stats
          GWS 66 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
          Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
          GCF 74 vs SYD 109 Report Stats
          FRE 90 vs ADE 50 Report Stats
          NTH 116 vs RIC 88 Report Stats
          Mon, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
          MEL 28 vs COL 61 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 13
          Fri, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
          CAR 90 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
          Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
          RIC 85 vs FRE 105 Report Stats
          SYD 98 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
          WCE 103 vs GCF 100 Report Stats
          BRI 80 vs GWS 125 Report Stats
          ADE 109 vs NTH 73 Report Stats
          Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
          GEE 133 vs STK 37 Report Stats
          COL 98 vs WBU 106 Report Stats
          ESS 77 vs MEL 78 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 14
          Fri, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
          RIC 51 vs SYD 62 Report Stats
          Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
          PTA 128 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
          HAW 115 vs COL 86 Report Stats
          GCF 118 vs GEE 78 Report Stats
          FRE 105 vs BRI 22 Report Stats
          ESS 101 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
          Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
          GWS 100 vs CAR 92 Report Stats
          STK 70 vs WCE 103 Report Stats
          MEL 66 vs NTH 107 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 15
          Fri, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
          GEE 89 vs ESS 80 Report Stats
          Sat, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
          HAW 116 vs GCF 63 Report Stats
          STK 73 vs RIC 117 Report Stats
          FRE 88 vs WCE 81 Report Stats
          SYD 106 vs GWS 60 Stats
          BRI 70 vs NTH 66 Report Stats
          Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
          WBU 91 vs MEL 85 Report Stats
          ADE 99 vs PTA 76 Report Stats
          COL 91 vs CAR 76 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 16
          Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
          NTH 108 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
          Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
          RIC 79 vs BRI 54 Stats
          GWS 72 vs ADE 140 Report Stats
          GCF 80 vs COL 75 Report Stats
          MEL 34 vs FRE 97 Report Stats
          PTA 60 vs ESS 62 Report Stats
          Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
          CAR 151 vs STK 66 Report Stats
          WCE 51 vs SYD 79 Report Stats
          GEE 69 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 17
          Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
          ADE 92 vs HAW 104 Report Stats
          Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
          MEL 36 vs GEE 102 Report Stats
          NTH 92 vs STK 33 Report Stats
          WBU 94 vs GCF 66 Report Stats
          BRI 64 vs WCE 76 Report Stats
          SYD 122 vs CAR 51 Report Stats
          Sun, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
          RIC 126 vs PTA 106 Report Stats
          ESS 103 vs COL 39 Report Stats
          FRE 136 vs GWS 60 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 18
          Fri, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
          CAR 109 vs NTH 86 Report Stats
          Sat, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
          STK 118 vs FRE 60 Report Stats
          GWS 87 vs GEE 94 Report Stats
          Sun, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
          PTA 72 vs MEL 69 Report Stats
          WBU 94 vs ESS 101 Report Stats
          Fri, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
          WCE 42 vs RIC 59 Report Stats
          Sat, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
          BRI 110 vs GCF 56 Report Stats
          HAW 104 vs SYD 94 Report Stats
          Sun, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
          COL 82 vs ADE 98 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 19
          Thu, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
          FRE 83 vs CAR 78 Report Stats
          Fri, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
          SYD 79 vs ESS 57 Report Stats
          Sat, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
          ADE 105 vs WCE 136 Report Stats
          RIC 89 vs GWS 62 Report Stats
          GCF 117 vs STK 64 Report Stats
          NTH 79 vs GEE 111 Report Stats
          Sun, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
          MEL 51 vs BRI 74 Stats
          HAW 107 vs WBU 45 Report Stats
          COL 76 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 20
          Fri, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
          RIC 95 vs ESS 77 Report Stats
          Sat, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
          GWS 51 vs NTH 126 Report Stats
          CAR 97 vs GCF 58 Report Stats
          HAW 115 vs MEL 65 Report Stats
          PTA 58 vs SYD 84 Report Stats
          GEE 81 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
          Sun, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
          BRI 63 vs ADE 168 Report Stats
          STK 99 vs WBU 122 Report Stats
          WCE 126 vs COL 66 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 21
          Fri, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
          CAR 76 vs GEE 82 Report Stats
          Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
          SYD 127 vs STK 56 Stats
          GCF 47 vs PTA 56 Report Stats
          ESS 77 vs WCE 74 Report Stats
          COL 56 vs BRI 123 Report Stats
          ADE 69 vs RIC 79 Report Stats
          Sun, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
          NTH 111 vs WBU 61 Report Stats
          MEL 34 vs GWS 98 Report Stats
          FRE 110 vs HAW 91 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 22
          Fri, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
          PTA 140 vs CAR 37 Report Stats
          Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
          NTH 101 vs ADE 94 Report Stats
          ESS 108 vs GCF 89 Report Stats
          GWS 67 vs COL 75 Report Stats
          WCE 119 vs MEL 53 Report Stats
          HAW 94 vs GEE 71 Report Stats
          Sun, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
          BRI 48 vs FRE 106 Report Stats
          WBU 67 vs SYD 130 Report Stats
          RIC 98 vs STK 72 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          Round 23
          Fri, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
          COL 56 vs HAW 121 Stats
          Sat, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
          CAR 90 vs ESS 90 Stats
          FRE 105 vs PTA 97 Stats
          SYD 65 vs RIC 68 Stats
          NTH 123 vs MEL 93 Stats
          GEE 143 vs BRI 81 Stats
          Sun, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
          GCF 99 vs WCE 151 Stats
          ADE 141 vs STK 62 Stats
          WBU 109 vs GWS 115 Stats
          View All Fixtures
          AFL Finals Round 1
          Fri, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
          HAW 104 vs GEE 68 Report Stats
          Sat, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
          SYD 93 vs FRE 69 Stats
          NTH 93 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
          Sun, 07 SepTimes shown AEST
          PTA 132 vs RIC 75 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          AFL Finals Round 2
          Fri, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
          GEE 92 vs NTH 98 Stats
          Sat, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
          FRE 83 vs PTA 105 Stats
          View All Fixtures
          AFL Finals Round 3
          Fri, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
          SYD 136 vs NTH 65 Report Stats
          Sat, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
          HAW 97 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          AFL Finals Round 4
          Sat, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
          SYD 74 vs HAW 137 Report Stats
          View All Fixtures
          AFL Home and Away
          Overall standings
          Team P W L D % Pts
          Sydney Swans 22 17 5 0 142.88 68
          Hawthorn 22 17 5 0 140.78 68
          Geelong Cats 22 17 5 0 113.77 68
          Fremantle 22 16 6 0 130.40 64
          Port Adelaide 22 14 8 0 129.92 56
          North Melbourne 22 14 8 0 117.04 56
          Essendon 22 12 9 1 106.34 50
          Richmond 22 12 10 0 105.77 48
          View all
           
          Featured advertisers