On behalf of the AFL Commission, the AFL has this afternoon released its 2017 Financial result.

In his summary of the year, AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder said the AFL, through the work of the AFL Executive and the Commission, had achieved impressive results in each of its key indicators on the health of the game. 

The 2017 financial results take into account the following significant milestones - year one of the new broadcast agreement (signed in 2015), the signing of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the AFLPA, and the AFL’s inclusion of Etihad Stadium into the group’s operations. 

AFL CFO, Travis Auld said the results allowed the AFL to create a long-term capital reserve to underwrite the future of the game and increase distributions to Clubs, community and game development. 

“This is a very good result for the AFL industry, allowing us to commit to long-term savings to strengthen the game and prepare for challenges in a changing consumer environment,” 

“The increase in broadcast revenue is a once in a generation opportunity to invest in the future, and we have a responsibility to use this profit to create the capital reserve,”

“Increases in expenditure in 2017 include the Women’s League, investment in game development, community and elite infrastructure investment, and higher Club distributions,” Mr Auld said.

Financial result 

In 2017, the AFL reported a net surplus of $48.8 million, compared with a $17.8 million deficit in 2016. 

The AFL took ownership of Etihad Stadium this financial year. The stadiums operations are reflected in the results of the Consolidated entity.

The Consolidated entity, which includes all the AFL’s controlled state subsidiaries, Etihad Stadium and Champion Data, produced a net surplus of $60.3 million, inclusive of a $41.5 million non-cash accounting gain realised from the acquisition of Etihad Stadium.   

The AFL’s 2017 cash position improved by $26.6 million from 2016 as a result of the new broadcasting deal and a successful 2017 finals series.  

The AFL’s profit has been used to establish a $20m capital reserve to strengthen the balance sheet and to position the AFL for the future. 

Other key AFL financial highlights included:

  • Revenue increased by $133.6 million (26%) to $650.6 million, primarily due to an increase in broadcasting revenue.
  • Expenditure increased by $5.3 million (3%) to $192 million with major movements including the launch of AFLW and the additional investment in female participation.
  • The AFL allocated $44.2 million to game development grants in 2017, up from $41.7 million in 2016.
  • Distributions increased by $63.2 million (18%) in line with the new club funding model and the new AFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2017.

-       Payments to clubs up $32.2 million.

-       Payments to AFLPA up $14.8 million, which includes an increase for retirement and welfare funding.

-       Ground improvement payments for community and elite football facilities up $13.5 million.