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Keeping top Cats comes at a price, says club president

Peter Ryan
December 19, 2016 7:15 PM

AFL 2016 Training - Geelong 140416

Geelong president Colin Carter

INCREASING football industry costs continue to put pressure on Geelong's ability to retain quality staff, says club president Colin Carter. 

Carter said the Cats' reputation as a well-run club had seen many of its key executives receive attractive offers from other sports or AFL clubs.

He said it was fortunate many of the individuals approached had remained with Geelong but cost pressures, which he claimed increased 10 per cent per annum across the AFL, were a significant threat to club's financial security.

The Cats' people and culture manager, Rosie King, was appointed CEO of Netball Victoria in 2016 while CEO Brian Cook and football manager Steve Hocking remain on the radars of many sporting organisations. 

"Many of the pressures we face are out of our control," Carter said.

Geelong recorded a $2million profit in 2016, despite a trading loss of more than $800,000, with the good result largely due to donations from wealthy supporters. 

Carter conceded at the club's AGM on Monday night that Geelong's profitability remained marginal.

Although he acknowledged the impact of a reduced capacity at Simonds Stadium while it was being rebuilt and the loss of income from gaming machines, he said the club walked a thin line between recording a trading profit or loss.

Geelong will play just seven games at Simonds Stadium in 2017, which will add to its financial pressures.   

"Each year the AFL fixtures us to play two of our home games at Etihad and each of these games costs us about half a million in list profit compared to playing it in Geelong," Carter said. 

"Our ambition is nine home games in Geelong and two mega-games at the MCG." 

On the positive side, Geelong recently announced a long-term deal with GMHBA and a continued association with Ford and remains a destination club, a significant advantage in the free agency era.