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Despite the drama, Bomber fans sign on

Ashley Browne  August 22, 2013 3:58 PM

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Essendon signed on more than 56,000 members this season despite its off-field crisis

IT HAS been a turbulent year for Essendon, but it can be said with absolute conviction that Bomber fans have rallied behind their club. 

The AFL released the final club membership figures for 2013 on Thursday and they revealed that Essendon recorded the biggest raw increase in membership, from 47,708 in 2012 to 56,173, an increase of 8465. 

The combined AFL club membership figure for 2013 is 756,717, the highest recorded in the game's history and an increase of 6.94 per cent on last year. 

Figures reveal that 11 of the 18 clubs recorded all-time membership records and that only two clubs – St Kilda and Melbourne – registered lower membership figures in 2013 than last year. 

Greater Western Sydney recorded the greatest increase in percentage terms, with 12,681 members representing a 23.8 per cent increase on last year. 

The Sydney Swans also capitalised on last year's premiership win with a 21.71 per cent increase to 36,358. 

Collingwood, with an AFL record 78,427, remains the largest-supported club in the competition, followed by Hawthorn (63,353), Richmond (60,321) and West Coast (58,501). 

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said membership remained the backbone of the game. 

"We have seen a substantial rise in membership across the competition with many clubs setting new benchmarks - this is testament to the value clubs place on building membership of the game and engaging supporters. 

 

"Importantly, significant growth has been recorded across the board, with the greatest increases coming from our youngest clubs as well some of our most established clubs," he said.


CLUBS
 
2012 membership
 
2013 membership
 
Var # & Var%
 
Adelaide
 
45,105
 
46,405
 
1,300, 2.88%
 
Brisbane
 
20,762
 
24,130
 
3,368, 16.22%
 
Carlton
 
45,800
 
50,564
 
4,764, 10.4%
 
Collingwood
 
72,688
 
78,427
 
5,739, 7.9%
 
Essendon
 
47,708
 
56,173
 
8,465, 17.74%
 
Fremantle
 
42,918
 
43,880 962, 2.24%
 
Geelong
 
40,205
 
42,884
 
2,679, 6.66%
 
Gold Coast
 
11,204
 
12,502
 
1,298, 11.59%
 
GWS Giants
 
10,241
 
12,681
 
2,440, 23.83%
 
Hawthorn
 
60,841
 
63,353
 
2,512, 4.13%
 
Melbourne
 
35,459
 
33,177
 
-2,282, -6.44%
 
North Melbourne 33,423
 
34,607
 
1,184, 3.54%
 
Port Adelaide
 
35,543
 
39,838
 
4,295, 12.08%
 
Richmond
 
53,027
 
60,321
 
7,294, 13.76%
 
St Kilda
 
35,440
 
32,707
 
-2,733, -7.71%
 
Sydney Swans
 
29,873
 
36,358
 
6,485, 21.71%
 
West Coast
 
57,377
 
58,501
 
1,124, 1.96%
 
Western Bulldogs
 
30,007
 
30,209
 
202, 0.67%