Port Adelaide chairman David Koch said the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season had been a severe setback and revealed a $12 million debt despite the Power having reduced their cost base by more than $17 million.
In a brutal assessment of how his club had been upended financially even though it had fallen just short of a grand final, Koch said the Power had required added borrowings of $4.3 million, leaving their debt at a “significant” level although interest rates are low.
“After making sure our football department was fully funded, over the last couple of years we had started to pay down our debt. But COVID-19 proved to be an unexpected and severe setback to our debt reduction plans, but we have great confidence to accelerate again thanks primarily to the incredible support we are already seeing from our members and key stakeholders, ” he said.
“However, whilst we suffered financially like most businesses during 2020, we saw continued growth from our football program, falling just short of a grand final appearance. The club is in a great position to challenge in 2021.“
The Power announced a statutory loss of $4,040,579 but a net loss from continuing operations of $278,806. They insisted they had finished the year in a “considerably better position than was originally forecast when the AFL competition shut down in March 2020” but this had required they cut their cost base by 31 per cent.
“COVID-19 became the greatest financial threat in the club’s history and, as a result, we were forced to make some extremely tough decisions through 2020, which sadly meant farewelling some fantastic Port Adelaide people,” Koch said.
All clubs have taken a financial hit and this year’s salary cap has also been cut by nine per cent. The Saints last week said their debt stood at $13.8 million, a rise of $1.6 million, although they had opted to continue to upgrade their Moorabbin base and the Danny Frawley centre rather than slash debt.