The Geelong Football Club has announced a statutory net profit of $4.7 million for the year ended 31 October 2021. The strong financial result was underpinned by the sale of The Brook gaming venue in November 2020, resulting in a gain on sale of $2.4 million.

The club would like to acknowledge the on-going commitment of the club’s loyal members, commercial partners and Our Ambition donors who remained Geelong Strong during another disrupted season in 2021. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and related government health measures significantly impacted the AFL industry and the club’s operating model, most notably resulting in the final four AFL men’s home games without crowds. With the support of our club members, the AFL men’s team reaching the 2021 preliminary final, coupled with management’s response in reducing the cost base materially during the previous financial year, it assisted the club in producing an exceptional financial result given the circumstances. 

As a result, the club is debt free as at 31 October 2021. The improved financial position places the club in a strong position to bounce out of the COVID-19 pandemic and strive for success on and off field in season 2022.  

The club now proudly has no direct revenues from all forms of gambling and gaming, and is focused on identifying new opportunities to substitute gaming revenues to ensure a sustainable operating model into the future, this includes expanding its investment in the health and fitness and hospitality industries through its award-winning Higher Mark business. 

The club would like to acknowledge the continued support of the State Government with its funding commitment to complete stage five at GMHBA Stadium and the club’s ongoing partnership with the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust providing rental relief during the financial year.  

Key items contributing to the financial outcome include:

  • Operating revenue increase by 33.3% to $47.4 million. Attributable to the results were as following:
    • 70,293 Geelong members;
    • Sponsorship and advertising revenues $11.7m compared to the $10.1m in the prior year. We acknowledge the ongoing support of our major partner Ford and other principal partners GMHBA, Cotton On, Deakin University and Morris Finance;   
    • No crowds at our final four AFL men’s home games; 
    • Continued restrictive trading conditions for our hospitality business Higher Mark and Geelong’s Gym due to government health measures through the COVID-19; and
  • Depreciation and amortisation expense of $3.0 million

“Whilst our result was underpinned by the sale of The Brook gaming venue, we must acknowledge and thank the ongoing contribution of our Geelong Strong members in season 2021, in what was another disrupted and challenging year in being able to attend games of football” Geelong Cats Chief Operating Officer Simon Kelleher said. 

“We saw all areas of the club display great flexibility and agility in making significant changes to the way we operate. Those changes ensured we delivered an exceptional financial result in 2021, whilst the club was able to continue to perform at a high level on and off the field. 

“The club is now debt free for the first time in decades and positioned to bounce out of COVID-19. Management have developed a clear strategy under new CEO Steve Hocking for crowds to return in season 2022, kicking off with the AFL W season in January.  

“The club is focused on working with Kardinia Park Stadium Trust in completing Stage Five at GMHBA Stadium, increasing the stadium capacity to 40,000 in season 2023. In addition, management is developing the club’s vision for the next evolution of the club’s high-performance facilities for both its AFL women’s and men’s teams.

“We are determined for the club to remain the destination club for players, staff, members and our commercial partners.

“Whilst a challenging year financially, we increased our commitment in making a significant and meaningful difference in our community, and will again focus on our community impact in 2022 and beyond.

“Once again, we would like to thank our members for their continued support. There is an emotional and financial investment in being a member and we do not take it for granted. We will continue to strive to achieve our goals in 2022, both on and off the field.”