Essendon Football Club - 2019 Financial Result

I’m quite happy, just cutting through some spin. The debt free status comes from banking some grants that we will spend over the next few months. The annual report tells us that. We will then be taking on more debt to pay for the Hanger upgrade. So I would argue in reality our debt free status is a lucky consequence of when money is received/spent and shouldn’t be held out as an achievement.


It’s great that the club is debt-free and profitable, especially after the move to Tullamarine. And it’s fair enough to email members about it — apart from farking up the email so that it repeats itself. But to me the main thing the email announcing this success does is contrast with the dismal attempts to pretend that we had a successful season on-field this year.

Something something never should have apologised for his tweet something something


Interesting to note…

c) CAPITAL COMMITMENTS There are $19,655,347 of capital expenditure commitments at the end of the 2019 financial year relating to the Hangar Expansion (2018: $5,438,548).


Must be due to responge all the floors

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Don’t confuse indifference to corporate bullshit that has no demonstrable impact on team results with unhappiness.

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Pure spin to me.

We have applied funds donated to expand the hanger to our debt.

Sure we are technically “debt free” outside of the little fact we have to build this expansion. Lol.

We made 60k. The rest donations.

We aren’t though.

We have an obligation to build an expansion and have “spent” the funds donated for a portion of it.

How exactly is it “pure spin”? the club has payed its debts relating to legal fees and now is using the funds to build an expansion on the hangar. its pretty transparent. what is their alterior motive to “spin” this? Maybe you’re being overly pedantic about the wording…


1 Spend money on facility
2 ???

What a sad, sorry bunch of whining princesses we have here.


If not giving a ■■■■ about paper shuffling, bean counting, capex-rich, net present value, debt reduction onanism while we are the football laughing stock of the football world makes me a princess, then please lube up my tiara poste-haste.


We’re the best in the business at everything, except the one thing we’re actually in the business of.


Bulldogs were 10m in debt and won a flag.

Who gives a ■■■■?

Win a farking flag.


Does this mean we can now afford to pay out Worsfold’s contract???

In a sense this is really important, and in another sense it’s not important at all.

Rubbishing people for holding either view is silly IMO

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Reads thread and tries to figure out what we’re all angry about this time…



JUST this thread???

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This must be my cue :grin:

I know people accuse me of being constantly negative, I’m not, spin just makes me crazy as does our members tendency to swallow it and ask for more.

These financials, like last year, might as well be a uni course in seeing through spin and not being fooled by the shiny thing put in front of your face. Those who look at financials often in their work I’m sure quickly saw through this, but for others who don’t deal in financial reports it’s more difficult to wade through, and the club really take advantage of that fact with their messaging.

I’ll preface this by saying that I DO think the club has done an amazing job to stabilize financially post saga, particularly through the 2014-2017 period where anything could have happened. And I do think the effort to pay down the club’s debt has been commendable, though lets be clear that the headline act of this set of financials in “paying off our debt” is a very temporary measure that will end as soon as they have to pay an instalment on the new building works happening right now as others have pointed out, the financials state the club is essentially are committed to owing $19m on this stage of the facility development, while hoping no doubt for some governmental relief on that front. Nothing wrong with the club carrying some debt, but yeah the whole “woohoo we’re out of debt” thing is going to last about as long as it takes Walla to run 20m.

The reality of these financials is that the club went hat in hand to its wealthiest donors again and begged for donations to go towards the next phase development of the facility. Those efforts produced one off extraordinary fundraising of roughly $3.6m and the club’s declared total profit was around $3.5m, so the profit was comprised virtually entirely of that one off facility fundraising.

So despite record membership, record gate receipts, making the finals on field, a huge uptick in the AMart sponsorship deal and a number of other factors going in the clubs favour big time, it actually only managed to turn those factors into a tiny total profit of $60k. That’s an awful result in context, and one that the club will be no doubt very concerned about.

More specifically as summarised in the finance director report the club have managed to take an increase from last year of $360k in membership revenue, an increase of $805k in sponsorship and an increase of $673k in match receipts and stadium revenue, so around $1.8m more revenue on those 3 big ticket items alone than last year, and turn all that into only a true $60k profit, despite making a profit last year. So all that extra revenue, and then plenty, disappeared in expenditure elsewhere. I’m all for clapping good financial management but that is awful, and is nowhere near justified by only an extra $500k spend on footy which was presumably made up mainly of Rutten’s wage to get him across from Richmond for last year and possibly a payout to Justin Crow.

If the club hadn’t played that single final in Perth it actually would’ve made a true operating loss : Prizemoney for making the finals was $65k and the club’s profit was in reality only $60k.

If this club can’t make more than a real $60k profit in a finals year, with record membership, record gate receipts, huge new sponsorship deals etc then something is very wrong.

Hopefully this and last year were one off poor (in context) results, but concerns MUST be mounting. Yes the club is stable financially but considering the membership results etc this club should be making significant profits every year, not relying on one off fundraising handouts for the facility build to falsely prop up the financial result, it would take almost unimaginably bad management (saga aside, or included) for a club with the support of Essendon to not be sound financially. Members are pouring way too much money into this club every year for it to essentially be barely breaking even – imagine what the result could look like if we were to really bottom out on field?? This was a finals year for goodness sake.

Xavier was very sheepish when talking about it in his video on the website, in fact when talking about the financials he opened with ‘Um, the financial result was still a positive result for our football club’ ha ha, like he was answering a question about why it was so crap that hadn’t actually been asked. The line in his head that he didn’t say prior to that was “In spite of these concerning figures…”

Also one final point, no doubt those who do read the financials carefully and understand them will have got a chuckle out of the finance directors report, where it was noted that part of the reason this result looked so poor compared to last year was that last year’s result was propped up by the one off sale of ‘Beyond Sport’ the club’s merchandise store : yet somehow at the time last year they managed to forget to mention how poor last year’s result would’ve looked without that Beyond Sport sale in last year’s financial report, instead back then just making note of the sale while taking bows for a great final result overall. Optics, gotta love em.

Breaking through spin with factual analysis isn’t being inherently negative or a whiner, it’s what we should all be doing. Clap when it’s time to clap, but be concerned at stuff like this.

Whilst this result clearly isn’t a disaster and isn’t putting the club in financial jeopardy, there are some clear areas for concern, and those clapping it as a great result aren’t paying attention to the detail, where the devil always is.

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