Cats see red

Updated: December 23, 2015

GEELONG has received some mixed news on the eve of Christmas, announcing anet loss of more than $3 million for 2015 while at the same time reaching 40,000 members.

The stage four redevelopment of Simonds Stadium, that’s seen the demolition of the Brownlow and Jennings Stand, is one of the major factors behind the financial result along a drop in crowds, events, fundraising and returns from the club’s venues.

Having missed the finals for the first time since 2006, the Cats’ average attendances dropped from 33,915 to 29,217 and they also had to contribute $300,000 to the AFL’s equalisation fund.
Cats’ CEO Brian Cook said even though stadium costs inflated the annual figure, the loss of $3,318,173 was still disappointing.

“While the asset write offs and depreciation and amortisation totalled nearly $4 million, we anticipated a better overall result than we have returned,” Cook said.

“There are a number of factors that have contributed to this result. The tighter economic climate around Geelong has impacted on our revenue sources and our crowds dropped late in the season when it became clear we would miss the finals.

“We are down in our profits from commercial operations, mainly in the areas of match returns and venues.

“While other areas of commercial have risen, they were short of our expectations, particularly events, fundraising and membership revenue. We saw good growth in our corporate business, which increased by $544,000.

“Our corporate returns will continue to rise in 2016 with Ford recently agreeing to an extension of the partnership with the club and negotiations with other key sponsors well underway.”

Cook declared while the Cats support the AFL’s equalisation fund, they believe that the methodology around the amounts each club is required to contribute is “flawed” and “requires review”.

The Cats have invested more than $13 million of its profits over the last decade back into upgrading Simonds Stadium.
“We will continue to invest into Simonds Stadium and we are thrilled that stage four of the redevelopment has commenced,” Cook said.

“This will place further pressure on our finances in the immediate future but will set the club up for long-term success.”

The news of their financial result comes on the same day the Cats surpassed 40,000 members before Christmas for the first time in their history. At the same time last year the club had signed just over 30,000 members.

The club set a new membership record of 46,113 in 2015 and are aiming to sign 50,000 before their opening round clash next year against reigning premiers Hawthorn on Easter Monday.

“We have seen substantial growth of our valued membership base over the last few months and I’m excited for what’s in store in the lead up to the 2016 season,” Cook said.

“Our focus in 2016 is to provide members with exclusive member-only initiatives, unique match day experiences and exceptional service.”

Kevin Paisley Eyewear