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Retiring Colless signs off on another healthy profit for Swans

CEO of the Swans Richard Colless accepts the premiership flag during the Sydney Swans Season Launch at the Sydney Opera House April 7, 2006 in Sydney, Australia.
Richard Colless with the 2005 premiership flag, one of many highlights the Swans enjoyed under his chairmanship
It has been an honour for me to serve this great club for over 20 years and there are simply too many highlights to mention
Retiring Swans chairman Richard Colless
THE SYDNEY Swans recorded a profit of $646,745 for the 2013 financial year, the club's third straight year in the black.

The result was announced by retiring Swans chairman Richard Colless, who attended his final board meeting on Thursday.

Colless also ended his two-decade reign at the helm following the meeting, rather than after the club's AGM in February as he had previously advised, handing over to incoming chairman Andrew Pridham.

Having battled through some difficult times during his long stint at the club, Colless is leaving the Swans in a vastly improved financial state.

"The result was pleasing given the club’s continuing focus on ensuring its football operations are fully resourced, providing the team with the best opportunity to consistently play finals and hence challenge for the AFL premiership and be seen as a leading and respected entity in the competition,” Colless said.

“2013 highlights the vagaries of operating an elite football team with the club experiencing its highest number of injuries in the last 10 years, with many games played with almost half the (2012) premiership team not playing.

"Despite this, the club not only did well on the field but it also did well off the field to post a reasonable profit.

“I am really pleased we managed to grow our membership to over 36,000 off the back of our premiership year in 2012 as we welcomed over 10,000 new members to the club.

“We are targeting over 40,000 members in 2014."

With the redevelopment of the SCG almost complete, and the addition of Buddy Franklin to the playing roster, the Swans are confident of drawing some big crowds to their games this coming season.

“We look forward to the new season," Colless said.

"The redevelopment of the Noble, Bradman and Messenger Stands at the SCG will greatly enhance the game day experience for both Swans and SCG Members.

"We are hopeful of a number of sell-out games at the SCG in 2014.

“We thank both our stadia partners, the SCG and ANZ Stadium, for their support and co-operation in the past year."

During Colless' 20 years, the Swans have built themselves from a club on the brink of ruin to a powerhouse and a perennial finals contender.

They have reached September in 10 of the past 11 seasons, culminating in the 2005 and 2012 flags, their first since 1933.

“It has been an honour for me to serve this great club for over 20 years and there are simply too many highlights to mention," Colless said.

“I wish incoming chairman Andrew Pridham all the best for the future and I am sure he will do an outstanding job.

“Finally, I want to stress that ownership of this great club remains in the hands of our members and supporters who, unlike shareholders in public companies, basically invest emotion, passion and time which is the foundation upon which our culture is built.”

Twitter: @AFL_JD