The AFL has recorded a loss of just about $23 million in 2020 however has averted “financial armageddon” which some specialists feared may bankrupt the league during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AFL fee chair Richard Goyder on Tuesday introduced the competitors’s financial figures.
The $22.8 million working loss is a severe hit, however nowhere close to the $500 million predicted by some trade heavyweights final yr.
After one spherical of video games performed in empty stadiums, the AFL was compelled to droop the 2020 season because the world tailored to the pandemic.
Even earlier than video games have been postponed, former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire feared the AFL would lose near a $1 billion if the season was cancelled.
“That’s on our greatest day. And we may nonetheless go below,” McGuire mentioned in March.
“That is financial armageddon coming for the AFL and its golf equipment.”
The AFL stood down 85 per cent of its staff and took brutal cost-cutting measures instantly, whereas all 18 golf equipment have been additionally compelled to axe a whole lot of jobs.
However resuming the 17-round season in June, and later quickly relocating all Victorian golf equipment, enabled a finals sequence to be run and a premier to be topped.
“Working by means of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 actually examined each the resilience of the AFL and its golf equipment,” Goyder mentioned.
“The collective unity of soccer enabled the sport to climate arguably the largest problem in our historical past and strengthened the unbelievable connection soccer has with our members and supporters.
“The yr was robust financially however I wish to thank the boards and workers of the 18 golf equipment, our gamers, umpires and our personal AFL Government and group, led by Gillon McLachlan, for the work they did.”
Regardless of followers largely being unable to attend matches, whole membership membership was down 6.1 per cent from the all-time file (1,057,572) set in 2019.
The AFL’s income decreased by $119.1 million to $674.8 million, with the league explaining that fall on a discount in crowds and authorities restrictions in response to the coronavirus.
“The work over quite a lot of years to prioritise constructing a stability sheet to guard the trade in troublesome instances, together with the early buy of Marvel Stadium, allowed the sport to commerce by means of 2020 with out incurring vital debt,” Goyder mentioned.
“Whatever the challenges we face within the subsequent 12 months, our precedence stays to maintain our recreation as reasonably priced and accessible as attainable for all followers.”