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Skint Swans bank on transfer boost
Skint Swans bank on transfer boost

Swan Districts are banking on a glut of player transfer fees and plan to use club buildings as a regular entertainment venue to shore up their tenuous financial position.

The cash-strapped club reported a deficit of $102,401 for 2013 ahead of tomorrow's annual general meeting where members are expected to grill the Swans board.

A small trading profit of almost $36,000 was eaten away by the depreciation of assets last season and more than $42,000 paid in interest on a hefty tax bill.

Chief executive Tom Bottrell described last season as a "consolidation year" and predicted a windfall of at least $120,000 from transfer fees would help the club.

Swans will receive an estimated $85,000 after home-grown youngsters Dayle Garlett, Rory Lobb and rookie-listed Charlie Cameron were drafted into the AFL system at the end of last year.

The club has not stood in the way of senior trio Shaun Hildebrandt, Wayde Twomey and Andrew Krakouer leaving for rival teams, which will boost Swans' coffers from the transfer fees.

"We financially put a hold on recruiting heavily and a few of those players chose to leave," Bottrell said. "We just want to really promote our own zone."

Bottrell denied allowing senior players to leave would threaten the club's on-field performances and further hurt membership levels and bar takings.

Membership income remained stable in 2013, but a fall in merchandise sales by almost half compared to the previous season was an added blow.

"Our crowd decreased a little bit last year and that's an unknown," Bottrell said.

"We're just not sure what the alignment model is going to do with crowds this year."

Swans are hoping to profit from a deal that will involve the upstairs bar at Steel Blue Oval being used as a live venue throughout the year.

The recovery efforts come after a crippling 2011 season when Swans recorded a loss of $806,000, finished second last on the ladder and were later fined $25,000 by the WA Football Commission for salary cap declaration breaches.

The club is still $1.75 million in debt despite paying close to $190,000 off that figure last year.