Club seeks help to stay afloat

North Coast Times - - SPORT - Mark Don­ald­son

WEST Perth is in a fi­nan­cial hole and it ap­pears the club will not be able to climb from it with­out some help if it is to sur­vive in the WAFL.

The WA Foot­ball Com­mis­sion has con­firmed it is ex­plor­ing how it can as­sist the Fal­cons, who have strug­gled to stay afloat in re­cent years.

It seems those strug­gles have come to a head for one of WA’s old­est and most-fol­lowed foot­ball clubs.

West Perth re­ported a $40,000 profit last year but that was off the back of a $300,000 grant from the AFL to help with its new clu­b­rooms. Take away that grant, and the sit­u­a­tion looks grim.

Pres­i­dent Scott Ballem said West Perth had com­pleted an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the fi­nances be­tween 2012 and 2017 and found “sig­nif­i­cant cred­i­tors”.

He said they had put “a suite” of con­trol pro­ce­dures in place to en­sure the club’s debt did not get out of hand again.

“The West Perth Foot­ball Club is a proud, his­toric club and we are plan­ning for a long and suc­cess­ful fu­ture; but we are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties,” he said.

“Our cur­rent fi­nan­cial po­si­tion has come about over a num­ber of years. To cor­rect the po­si­tion and sta­bilise the club there has been a re­duc­tion of the long out­stand­ing debt; how­ever, this is plac­ing a strain on the club’s fi­nances.

“We have been work­ing with the (WA Foot­ball) com­mis­sion to reach a po­si­tion whereby they can sup­port the club to meet its fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions. What that sup­port could be is still be­ing ex­plored.”

The Fal­cons are hop­ing the fi­nan­cial pres­sure will ease now that they re­ceive full profit from their new clu­b­rooms.

Pre­vi­ously, much of the earn­ings had gone to Joon­dalup Arena owner VenuesWest.

Among West Perth’s is­sues has been its lack of a ma­jor jumper spon­sor since the lu­cra­tive three­year deal it struck with Chan­nel 9 in 2014.

And the back of the club’s jumper, which used to carry ad­di­tional spon­sors, is now bare.

Tens of thou­sands of dol­lars was also lost in City of Joon­dalup back­ing when the club voted against chang­ing its name from West Perth to re­flect the Joon­dalup re­gion.

In re­cent months, the club has been look­ing for a nam­ing rights spon­sor for Joon­dalup Arena.

Thank­fully for sup­port­ers, the off-field tur­moil has not trans­posed to match day per­for­mances, with the league side sit­ting com­fort­ably in third and play­ing with im­pres­sive co­he­sion.

WA Foot­ball Com­mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Gavin Tay­lor said a “strong West Perth on and off the field” was im­por­tant to the com­pe­ti­tion.

“We are cur­rently seek­ing ad­vice on what mech­a­nisms ex­ist be­tween West Perth and the WAFC for us to be able to as­sist the club. Once the op­tions are clear our board will con­sider the best path for­ward,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.