The West

Force field to gain from loss
Force field to gain from loss

Western Force posted an $857,000 loss in 2013, taking losses to over $1 million in the past two years, but the club is confident the team's resurgence will be reflected in an off-field turnaround.

Chief executive Mark Sinderberry believes the club will break even this year before moving into the black in 2015.

"We'll have one further tough year and then we will come out of it. We can feel the turn, we are showing signs of improvement," Sinderberry said. "This year will be one where we aim to break even, thereafter we are confident we will start to look up again."

Coming off the poor 2012 season when they made a $271,000 loss, the RugbyWA board budgeted for a further drop of $450,000, but total revenue last year dec- lined 5 per cent, including in corporate hospitality and match- day ticket sales. Revenue from memberships fell $200,000 and sponsorship was down almost $80,000 on the previous season.

RugbyWA made savings of $600,000 in commercial services costs, Force team costs went up a "moderate" one per cent and more than $1 million was pumped into grassroots rugby.

"When the organisation was relaunched last year it was a conscious decision of the board that we had to go through this," Sinderberry said.

"We fell well short on a number of forecast revenue items and numbers were not achieved.

"We have to become more efficient in what we do. We have to try and protect the team as much as possible.

"The slow economic market and the team's standing within the Super Rugby competition unquestionably had an adverse effect on our corporate hospitality revenue.

"It's about us re-establishing ourselves in the sporting community of Western Australia. We are very optimistic. There is a whole bunch of things that are happening that make us positive about the future.

"The new stadium is starting to pay dividends for us, and we are pretty excited by what Foles (coach Michael Foley) is doing with the team. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

RugbyWA chairman Russel Perry said there had been "lagging" support from potential sponsors and corporate supporters but there was a "multi-pronged agenda" to turn the loss around.

"Clearly the aftermath of 2012 hit us," Perry said.

"Times are very, very tough. It's not an easy task but we believe we've got the resources and strategies in place to get to where we need to go.

"We have now appointed an outstanding new CEO and an outstanding coach. We turned over two thirds of the squad and we are now seeing the results on and off the field." DID YOU KNOW? $1m The amount of money RugbyWA allocated to grassroots rugby last year

The West Australian

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