The North Melbourne Football Club has lauded its members and sponsors after recording its twelfth profit in thirteen years.
The Kangaroos posted a net surplus of $213,682 in the year ending October 31, 2020.
“Our loyal members, fans and sponsors have shown incredible support to our football club in one of the most difficult years on record,” North CEO, Ben Amarfio said.
“We were able to retain more than 97% of our membership base despite no games being played in front of crowds at our home grounds of Marvel Stadium and Blundstone Arena. It’s an incredible sign of faith, passion and generosity for which we are most grateful.
“Our sponsors, in particular our major partner Mazda and also Spirit of Tasmania and our coterie groups, were also incredible in the way they stuck with us and supported us throughout the year.
“We all faced challenging times but the unwavering support from our members and sponsors enabled us to be in this position.”
Amarfio said the club faced some difficult decisions but it was the long-term survival of the club that was paramount.
“We have made some really tough decisions and sadly have parted company with some great people along the way. That was heartbreaking for all of us but unfortunately we really had no option if we were going to get the club through this most difficult of periods,” Amarfio said.
“We needed to do the right things now so we can look forward to another 150 years of this great club.”
Amarfio said the club is planning to be debt-free by the end of next year and will look to expand even further.
“We are really proud of the financial position we have put ourselves in,” he said.
“Like some other clubs, we were an ‘unassisted club’ this year and have not had any AFL funding assistance in 2020 as it relates to the AFL’s line of credit structure.
“Our financial position sets the tone for next year where we welcome another redevelopment of our Arden St home with more than $7 million from the Victorian State Government.
“At the completion of the development, together with our supporters and the government, we will have invested more than $30 million into our facility making it one of the best in the state.
“We will be looking to expand our footprint in North Melbourne even further in the coming years as an anchor tenant of the exciting Arden Precinct project; Melbourne's largest urban renewal project.
“At the end of last year, we had $650K of debt and have reduced that by a further $250K this year bringing the total down to $400K. By 2021 we hope to have wiped that debt completely; making a total debt reduction of $9M in just 10 years while still investing in our football programs and facilities.
“While all of that is a great testament to the Board, our management team and staff, we don’t lose sight of the fact that we, our members and supporters crave on-field success before profits.
“We have made some great strides in the past month or so with the appointment of a new head coach in David Noble, a new senior assistant coach in John Blakey, assistant coaches Heath Younie and Jordan Russell, four exciting players through the trade period headlined by Jaidyn Stephenson and Aidan Corr, and we are very excited about going to the national draft with our high draft picks.”