Freo purple patch on and off the field

Mark Duffield
Freo purple patch on and off the field

Fremantle's record-breaking 2013 on-field has led to a record-breaking year off it, with a profit $400,000 over budget and a record contribution to the WA Football Commission of more than $4.8 million.

The profit comes on top of news, reported in The West last month, that Fremantle's annual turnover would exceed $50 million this year for the first time.

Dockers chief executive Steve Rosich warned the club needed to continue to be vigilant on finances because recent history showed that the eight most financial clubs have a "70 per cent chance" of playing finals.

And he was hopeful that the AFL's review on financial equalisation would continue down a path which considered all forms of income, including gambling.

"For some clubs gaming revenues are now up to 30 per cent of their total revenues. We are very proud that we don't have any gaming revenues," Rosich said.

His point was underlined by the results of five Victorian clubs - Geelong ($56 million), Essendon ($63 million), Collingwood ($75 million), Carlton ($57 million) and Hawthorn ($64 million) - who recorded greater turnovers than Fremantle.

Rosich was confident the club's Cockburn training facility would proceed on time despite concerns about Federal funding and local government boundary reviews. He predicted the Dockers' contribution to the WAFC would top $5.6 million next year.

"2013 was a record year on the field culminating in that grand final appearance, but it also inc- luded two finals wins and a record for home-and-away wins and that has translated into record turnover off the field including a record membership and a record merchandise turnover," he said.

"We are expecting a profit of about $650,000. That is after budgeting for a profit of about $250,000. Next year we have a significant investment in our new partnership with Peel Thunder and that will cost around $600,000 in the 2014 season, so our budgeted profit for next year is about $200,000."

Rosich said the extra profit was due to a boom in the finals series during which the Dockers sold $1 million of merchandise in three weeks.

The Dockers' WAFC contribution next year will be boosted by $450,000 in fees paid directly to the commission to be divided among clubs for the WAFL partnership with Peel. The Dockers estimate it will also cost an extra $150,000 to fund the partnership.