PORT Adelaide has taken the first step towards eradicating its $5.1 million consolidated debt with an immediate $2.5 million cash injection from its license holder, the SANFL.

The funding comes on top of the $1 million invested by the SANFL in December.

The club’s second move towards financial sustainability is securing assistance from the AFL, which has been waiting for the SANFL to act before deciding on its level of commitment.

The third step involves a new deal at AAMI Stadium.

The new deal, which will also apply to the Adelaide Crows, will be finalised within three months.

Port Adelaide president Brett Duncanson denied the $2.5 million was a welfare grant and said the club would use the money in line with its new business stability plan.

“We need to get some of that funding and put it immediately towards debt eradication along with what we will, hopefully, achieve from the AFL,” he said.

“At the same time, we have to invest in the business because our staff and management do an outstanding job on a day-to-day basis terribly under-resourced.

“We need to ensure that this is not just about eliminating some debt, but investing in the business to allow us to grow and close the gap on our opposition in the city.”

In March, Port Adelaide, which posted a record $1.6 million loss in 2008, and the SANFL appeared to be at loggerheads.

The Power expressed the need for a bigger slice of the revenue pie at AAMI Stadium, while the SANFL, through executive commissioner Leigh Whicker, identified the stadium deal as only a minor issue and encouraged the club to build its supporter base.

On Wednesday, the two entities put up a united front, and Whicker said the SANFL was always going to come to the party.

“As a responsible South Australian organisation and a proud one, there was no way the SANFL was going to let Port Adelaide go through these difficult times without assistance,” Whicker said.

“It’s not about bailing them out. This is a partnership that the Port Adelaide Football Club and the SANFL have come to and it’s a partnership that will be extended to the Adelaide Football Club.”

Whicker said the $2.5million cash-injection would not come at the detriment of the nine SANFL clubs and would not force up ticket prices at AAMI Stadium.