Essendon Football Club is pleased to have strengthened its financial position in 2021, announcing a statutory profit of $8.2 million.

This is made up of an underlying profit from operations of $1.2m, together with $7m of donations and grants directly attributable to the expansion of the NEC Hangar development. The underlying cash profit from operations was $5m.

The net assets of the club have increased to $49m at October 31, 2021, compared with $40.8m in 2020.

The club is once again bank-debt free, with the expansion of the fully funded $50m NEC Hangar now complete.

03:24 Mins
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NEC Hangar expansion comes to life

Harris HMC, Kevin Sheedy and Xavier Campbell take you inside the stage two development of the NEC Hangar.

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Importantly, there remains significant scope for future commercial, community and club growth.

The industry-leading facilities catering for the Bombers’ women’s teams at all levels coincides with the establishment of the club’s inaugural AFLW team, which will enter the national competition at the end of 2022.

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AFLW. 2022. We're ready.

The Bombers officially submit their bid for an AFLW licence in 2022.

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Chief executive officer Xavier Campbell acknowledged the club’s strong fiscal position, which has seen it successfully navigate the financial challenges of the past two COVID-impacted years.

“This is a strong outcome for our organisation, underpinned by our loyal member base, and is a testament to everyone associated with our football club. At the end of the financial year and having now completed the second stage of the development of the NEC Hangar totalling $21 million, we are pleased to be now once again free of bank debt,” Campbell said.

“This year, we experienced the largest aggregate growth in membership of any club in the AFL, reaching a total of 81,998, in what was truly a whole-of-club effort.

“I take this opportunity to again extend our sincere gratitude to our loyal members and fans who have been nothing but unwavering in their support for the club, particularly in trying circumstances over the past two years. We also wish to acknowledge those who have helped us get to this position including our staff who work tirelessly, our valued corporate and commercial partners, sponsors and other key stakeholders.

“We are well positioned to grow further in the coming years and continue to strengthen the club’s financial position as we look towards significant investment into the master vision of Windy Hill and enhancement of our business and freehold assets there, as well as maximising the commercial opportunities at the Tullamarine precinct.

“Pleasingly, throughout the two impacted years of the pandemic, we were able to not only protect, but improve our commercial position.

“We enter 2022 with a great sense of excitement in what will be a milestone year for the Essendon Football Club commemorating our 150-year anniversary. We look forward to the red-and-black family coming together to celebrate the occasion.”

Key points of the club’s 2021 financial result:

  • An increase of $2.1m in net income from the club’s non-football-related revenue streams due to strong performance during the periods of trade, which were less impacted than the 2020 year.
  • An increase in match day and stadium returns of $3.3m due to being able to play a full 23-round season, with most games in front of crowds, albeit limited, and the highly successful sell-out Dreamtime game in Perth.
  • A small growth in net membership revenue of $0.2m, despite an increase of 14,941 members, as the club invested in additional benefits to acknowledge the loyalty of members who maintained their support over the past two difficult seasons.
  • A decrease in football department expenditure of $1.0m through the reduction in the AFL football department soft-cap expenditure limits.
  • An increase of $2.2m in player payments, net of AFL contributions, as the industry returned to a full season and in line with the CBA increase.

The 2021 annual report is available here. Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually on Wednesday, December 15.