Fremantle's chairman Steve Harris has warned against complacency as his club continues to push for a premiership on the field and to narrow the gap between it and AFL giants off it.

Speaking at the launch of a book marking the club's first 20 years, "Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History", Harris said financial strength was linked to on-field success and the Dockers had a long way to go to get on even terms with the competition's richest clubs.

He said the Dockers were competing against clubs with strong "financial histories".

"Any expectation or view that we have made it or we have achieved what we need to achieve is just wrong," Harris said.

"It is ongoing. We need to continue to be really strong financially off field. There is evidence in the AFL that if you are not financially strong, you are not in charge of your own destiny, you can't make the right decisions.

"The new stadium will be part of that and maintaining really strong support in Western Australia will be part of that, then continuing to get the best people off field and on field to drive this club forward.

"Being four, five or six is not the same as being one, two or three."

Harris was confident that the right deal to play at the new stadium would be struck.

"The government wants us to play at the stadium, we want to play at the stadium," he said.

"It is going to be world class and I think everyone in the room is talking about a deal where everyone gets their objectives met."

Harris, the book's author Les Everett and inaugural captain Ben Allan said that while Fremantle's beginnings had been tough, they would not change them because it had created the resilient club of today.

"I never call myself a long- suffering Fremantle supporter because I have enjoyed it all the way through," Everett said before adding that being in Melbourne for last year's grand final was the highlight.

"There was purple everywhere and we made a big impression I think because of the good- natured supporters we had."

Allan said his three years as Fremantle captain were among the proudest of his career.

"Being involved in a club that won eight, seven and 10 games in three years, considering the conditions that were imposed … is a remarkable start," he said.

The West Australian

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