WAFL powerhouse Swan Districts deny they will need a WA Football Commission bailout as they prepare to tell members the club suffered an $806,000 loss last year - more than double the figure reported in February.
The original $376,000 loss triggered a commission investigation which has uncovered 11 separate salary cap breaches in the past two years as well as a further loss during the 2010 premiership season.
In a letter to Swans in June, WAFC chief executive Gary Walton said the nine 2011 breaches put the club $3218 over the salary cap.
"There are declaration errors in the 2011 salary cap as a result of nine transactions identified in the 2011 review which should have been included . . . we are of the view that SDFC exceeded the salary cap value of $211,000 for 2011," Walton wrote.
Swans reported a profit of $146,000 in 2010 but have since adjusted their accounting methods to show a loss of nearly $14,000.
Nine of the salary cap breaches occurred last year and included matters as diverse as rental payments on behalf of 2010 Sandover medallist and grand final hero Andrew Krakouer, traffic fines for Ryan Davis and a mouthguard for full-back Tallan Ames.
But Swans chief executive Tom Bottrell said the worst of the club's financial woes were out of the way and he was "comfortable" with the WAFC response to the salary cap breaches.
"It was a disgraceful result last year but it was a positive because we have cleared the decks," Bottrell said. "We will still be treading water for 12 months or more and while we still have to watch ourselves and be prudent, we can get on the road to recovery."
Bottrell was appointed in December and had nothing to do with the club's finances last year.
He said the club went to arbitration over the salary cap matter but did not expect the WAFC to apply the mandatory two-year ban on recruiting players from outside its metropolitan and country zones.
Claiming the massive loss last year was the result of the club introducing an accrual accounting method, Bottrell and president Peter Harvey told members Swans were on track to record a small surplus this year but remained at risk of requiring a bailout if their position did not improve.
"Our working capital position (current assets minus current liabilities) shows a deficiency of $690,730," Harvey said in a letter co-signed by treasurer Paul Douglas to be sent to members today.
"The board acknowledges that we will require several years of prudent financial management to replenish our asset base and ensure we will not require any additional support from the WAFC or other sources."
The bombshell will place Harvey under pressure to keep his position despite a period of on-field success and nearly 600 per cent revenue growth over five years.Walton did not respond to requests for comment.
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