NORTH Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw has slammed the club's home-game deal at Etihad Stadium, describing it as the "worst stadium deal in the history of world sport".
Brayshaw told North's annual general meeting on Wednesday night he was sick of hearing how the club was being propped up by the AFL, saying the equalisation funding the Roos received from the League was essentially compensation for their inequitable deal at Etihad.
"We have the worst stadium deal in the history of world sport, nearly," Brayshaw said at the Sofitel.
"So therefore the AFL recognise that and they give us basically a compensation amount of money for the fact that we are forced to play games there and don't make any money.
"It annoys me when I hear commentary around these clubs that are propped up by the AFL and wouldn't be profitable or wouldn't exist if they weren't propped up by the AFL.
"It's actually nothing to do with that. I think it was 2011 when we last played all our home games at Etihad and we had a pretty good attendance here I think in 2011 and we made $611,000 net.
"So (Port Adelaide chairman) David Koch is complaining about their new deal at Adelaide Oval where they're getting $4.5 million (a year), but we played 11 games and made $600,000.
"So that's why the AFL give us money. It's really as simple as that and hopefully the AFL soon will buy Etihad and then we'll get a proper stadium deal and we won't need to be propped up with a compensation cheque.”
North received $2.8 million from the AFL in future fund payments in 2014, with the League having committed to compensate smaller clubs for structural inequities as part of the beefed-up equalisation measures it announced in June last year.
The Western Bulldogs also received $2.8 million in future fund distributions last year and Melbourne received $2.27 million, while St Kilda received an additional $3.8 million in AFL funding.
The Roos' equalisation funding helped the club record a profit of $423,074 last year. But North chief executive Carl Dilena told members he hoped the AFL would bolster its equalisation program even further when the existing system is reviewed after 2016.
The measures introduced by the AFL in June last year include a luxury tax set at a maximum of $1 million a club for monies spent over a soft football department cap and a revenue tax that could require strong clubs such as Collingwood and Hawthorn to pay a maximum of $500,000 into a collective pool.
Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold said earlier this month the revenue-sharing tax would reduce all AFL clubs to "break-even" organisations.
And Collingwood president Eddie McGuire told the club's annual general meeting earlier this month that the AFL was trying to pick the club's pockets with its equalisation measures.
Dilena noted Hawthorn and Collingwood had been "grumbing" ahead of the AFL's meeting with club CEOs next week, saying he expected clubs would continue to push their own self-interest in the lead-up to the equalisation review.
"(Hawthorn and Collingwood) were among the clubs who set up the program to start with so they're complaining about the program that they actually put in place," Dilena said.
"It's politics, it's brinkmanship through the media so I wouldn't get caught up in that too much.
"We've got a good relationship with the AFL, they know where we sit.
"A lot of the principles of the whole regime we were very active in putting forward to the AFL and very supportive of, so I think it's moving in the right direction.
"(But) there will be some politics that will muddy the waters over the next couple of years."