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AFL Submissions

The Cats are committed to being open and honest with its members, supporters and the wider AFL community.

As such the club will now make available certain submissions to the AFL for public viewing.

Please find submissions below.

February 2013 - Submission on AFL's equalisation policy

June 2014 - Statement on AFL's equalisation policy

We have strong views about the AFL's approach to 'equalisation' and its effect on our club. We are supportive of the AFL's equalisation objectives and we are ready to accept specific outcomes that have costs. We don't object to paying $300,000 as an annual tax but simply argue that the percentage of our profit contributed to the cause should not be higher than wealthier clubs pay.

The proposed tax would take most of our forecast profit (and all of our cash-flow) this year. Middle ranking clubs have been hardest hit and will pay a much larger percentage of their profits. Clearly, this reduces our competitiveness against the largest clubs and this should not be the outcome.

It also appears that several of the wealthy clubs used their positions on the Working Party to produce outcomes beneficial to them. This is a conflict of interest and we note that 12 clubs did not have this opportunity because they were not on the Working Party. This is unfair and undermines the Commission's reputation for independent decision-making.

Our forecast operating profit this year is around $350,000 and a 'tax' of $300,000 would take nearly 100% of our profit - much more than that payable by the wealthiest clubs.

Furthermore, our current cash position doesn’t reflect our consistent profitability over many years due to our significant loan repayments and interest expense on our $11 million of total borrowings relating to the Simonds Stadium redevelopments (which include public match-day facilities) and gaming venues. These annual commitments total around $2.3 million in 2014 and so we believe that we will need to take on more debt to pay into the AFL’s ‘equalisation’ fund.

Furthermore, we believe that we already contribute $500,000 pa to our industry. When other clubs play games (and make money) in Tasmania, Wellington, Alice Springs and Darwin, our home games are taken to Etihad Stadium to compensate. We are not a party to these deals yet we bear the costs. No other club is required to give up their home game location in this way.

This year (again!) we requested at least eight home games at Simonds but instead the AFL fixture our eighth game at Etihad. This costs us at least $500,000 per game. If we can play our 8th home game in Geelong – and possibly our 9th - and a tax of $300,000 starts to look more reasonable!

Our club has always supported the AFL on equalisation and so it is disappointing to see concessions made to a few wealthy clubs that diminish our competitive position.

But all of that said, a fair fixture would help us earn a profit that justifies the proposed tax!