MELBOURNE has revealed a huge $5.1 million turnaround from 2020 on the back of a $2.1m operating profit for the year - ending October 31 - that also netted a drought-breaking flag.
The club released details of its financial windfall on Friday morning with CEO Gary Pert saying the premiership (the Demons' first since 1964), the partial return of crowds for games, and the success of the AFLW team (a prelim final) were key drivers behind the result.
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"We sold three years' worth of merchandise in the month leading up to and following the Grand Final. These unprecedented results were a significant driver in achieving such a fantastic financial result in 2021," Pert said.
A key summary of the result and the club's position for the year is as follows:
- Revenue growth of $14.5m (47 per cent) – including a $3m increase in match receipts, a $2.7m increase in merchandise sales and $1.7m growth in membership revenue.
- The result was achieved despite the significant impact of COVID restrictions – the club estimates a $4m impact as a result of the relocation of home matches, games being played without crowds and membership grinding to a halt mid-season due to the lockdowns.
- The club's balance sheet is in a strong position, underpinned by the Bentleigh Club land asset ($23.7m), cash reserves of $9.6m and no debt.
The club has also reached an agreement to sell the Bentleigh Club for $23.7m which will settle in 2022.
Pert said Melbourne would establish a Future Fund from the proceeds of that sale which would underpin the long-term financial sustainability of the club.
"We could not have achieved these kinds of results without the support of the 54,493 dedicated Demons who signed on in 2021."
The Melbourne Football Club annual general meeting will be held in February 2022.