THE BRISBANE Lions have an "incredible" amount of money available in their salary cap and plan to spend it poaching more experienced players in the next year or two.
New CEO Greg Swann said coach Justin Leppitsch had done an outstanding job with his young list, but he hoped to add some mid-tier – 24 to 25-year-old – players in the near future.
The Lions already paid well under the salary cap, and with the retirements of Jonathan Brown and Brent Moloney, even more money has now been freed up.
Speaking on SEN Radio on Wednesday afternoon, Swann said he had not ruled out chasing a marquee name, but was more intent on adding players with six to seven years of experience.
"One thing's for sure, we've got a lot of money in the cap, an incredible amount of money in the cap," Swann said.
"Certainly we've got money to compete with anybody, we'd have more than anybody.
"We'll certainly look in the next year or two to add that mid tier, that 24, 25-year-olds, to come in and make a real difference to us."
The Lions have vice-captain Tom Rockliff, Pearce Hanley, Daniel Rich, Jack Redden, Matthew Leuenberger, Dayne Zorko and Rohan Bewick in that age bracket.
Swann said the Lions would use their first pick in the draft – currently No.4 – to pick another youngster.
Despite having plenty of room in the salary cap, Swann said the club had already asked the AFL for more financial assistance as it was staring down the barrel of a $3 million annual loss.
"We need to become self sufficient, but in the first instance we need to plug those holes," Swann said.
"The theory I've had here, and the board's had here, is we can't save our way out of trouble, we can't keep cutting costs, you can't run the business, you have nobody to sell things, your footy department can't function properly because they don't have the resources or people.
"It's been cut to within an inch of its life so we have to grow the revenue and in that time we have to reinvest in the future."