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Demetriou, McLachlan earn combined $3.3 million salary

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan addresses the media during the 2014 Toyota AFL Finals Series Launch at Rivers Edge, Melbourne on September 01, 2014. (Photo: David Callow/AFL Media)
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and his predecessor Andrew Demetriou earned a combined $3.3 million salary last year for doing the League's top job.

The figure fell from $3.8 million in 2013 – of which $2 million was paid as an executive bonus – and follows Demetriou's early decision to step aside from the position in June.

Although it is unclear how last year's $3.3 million payment was divided, McLachlan's annual salary as CEO is $1.3 million.

Demetriou was CEO for seven months of the AFL's financial year, which ended on October 31, 2014.

The members of the AFL executive were paid $5.9 million last year, down from $6.7 million in 2013.

Other key financial figures revealed in the AFL's 2014 Annual Report are:

  • The AFL's revenue increased by $12 million to $458 million
  • Spending jumped by $6 million to $142 million due to revenue-related increases
  • Operating surplus totalled $316 million, before grants and distributions
  • AFL handouts to clubs rose by $7 million to $216 million
  • After grants and distributions, the AFL's net profit dropped by $4 million to $12.5 million, which will be reinvested into the AFL's Future Fund.

Attendance figures were also detailed in the report, with the AFL remaining the world's fourth-most attended sport despite a controversial fixture and confusing ticketing system.

The AFL's average crowd of 32,246 ranked behind only the NFL, Germany's Bundesliga and the English Premier League.

Other key metrics were:

  • 99,454 people attended Hawthorn's 63-point Grand Final win over the Sydney Swans at the MCG
  • The Grand Final audience of 2,828,139 on the Seven Network made the match the most watched program on metropolitan television in Australia's five biggest capital cities. The total national audience figure was 3,733,409.
  • An average total television audience each week of 4,727,623
  • Total match attendance of 6,384,742
  • Record club membership for the 14th-successive season, totalling 804,480

AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said the League achieved steady growth last year while appointing new leadership and revising revenue sharing for the competition.

“The industry can be very proud of our financial results and investments over the 2014 year,” Fitzpatrick said.  

“We had a challenging year in 2014, but our results are very sound.

"The AFL continued our investment in our clubs and expansion, as well as making key decisions regarding revenue sharing. 

"The revised competitive balance policy is a good example of maximum competition between AFL clubs on field and maximum co-operation between AFL clubs and the AFL off field.  

"It was at times a hotly debated issue – as it should be – but I would like to thank and acknowledge the contribution of all clubs and for the consensus which was reached in 2014."

Fitzpatrick said the AFL Executive and Commission achieved impressive results in each of its key indicators on the health of the game. 

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our clubs and our supporters, and in particular club members, who are the lifeblood of our game," he said.