WA footy's $10 million cash cows

Fremantle and West Coast reinforced their status as the driving forces behind football finances in 2012, injecting more than $10 million into the WA system.

The Dockers said they made $4.62 million in rent and royalty payments to the WA Football Commission last year.

And while West Coast's financial result is still being finalised, it is expected the Eagles will have contributed $5.6 million.

Fremantle's financial result came off a turnover of $42.77 million, an increase of $3.1 million, with a profit of $376,245.

West Coast's contribution came from a turnover of $55 million, up $5 million. It is understood the Eagles expect to declare a profit of about $3 million.

The only areas of revenue to drop at Fremantle were game-day receipts, which were down slightly, and merchandise.

Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said merchandise sales had still exceeded budget, but the Dockers had enjoyed a more lucrative year in that area in 2011.

Merchandise had only suffered in comparison with the 2011 jump.

"That was the first year of the new jumpers and there was a more significant spike where we had a really good year in merchandise," he said.

Rosich is optimistic about another successful year financially, based on membership sales.

"We are approximately 2500 members ahead of this time last year," he said.

"We are fast approaching 40,000 members whereas this time last year we were at 37,000.

"We had a really good renewal period and the non-renewal rate for 2013 is one of the lowest we have recorded at the club.

"We have again recorded an above-budget profit. We think that reflects a good level of support for the club across all levels - sponsorship, corporate, membership and general supporter.

"It is a challenging environment to fiscally manage a professional sporting organisation and the fact we are generating above-budget profit returns consistently is pleasing."

But Rosich said the club's focus would remain on building the club further and reinvesting in it rather than maximising profits.

"We are employing a strategy which is about investing in our football club to give us the best chance of succeeding for the long term, to give us the best chance of growing our footy club and also developing our football club in the long term, including facilities," he said.

"We will continue to employ budgets which maximise the investment in important strategic operations and we don't envisage being a footy club, in the short to medium term, that banks significant profits. It is about reinvestment."

As part of that investment the Dockers had increased football department spending by $2.6 million last year to $20.89 million.

Rosich said it would be challenging to grow membership much further before the move to the new stadium in 2018 because of limits on Patersons Stadium's capacity.

"We are fast approaching 40,000 members whereas this time last year we were at 37,000.""Fremantle chief executive *Steve Rosich *