Suns take biggest AFL slice

The Gold Coast Suns last year received the biggest slice of the AFL distribution, with the expansion club earning $27 million from the league.

Fellow expansion club GWS are yet to declare how much they have received, but the Suns' slice of the total AFL distribution is expected to be biggest of all clubs.

Gold Coast received the most funding from the AFL last year.Credit:AAP

The Suns reported an overall operating profit of $244,000 after making $1.1 million the year before. The 2018 profit figure was in large part bloated by the Commonwealth Games and the requirement to sell games away from the Gold Coast.

The club finished bottom again last year and received an assistance package from the AFL at the end of the year that was largely structured around on-field help, but the club also receives the biggest distribution.

The clubs in expansion markets are always likely to receive the biggest distribution because the AFL equalisation formula recognises structural reasons why they are financially penalised or handicapped relative to other clubs.

"The AFL's investment is working. The growth in Queensland is bigger than WA or SA, traditional football states," Suns CEO Mark Evans said of the size of the distribution and ongoing AFL help to the club and the expansion markets.

"We have the second largest schools competition in the country, the second largest female participation in the country.

"We understand our responsibility still to manage the money wisely."

The Suns grew sponsorship income by $1.25 million to $7.7 million but membership income fell by $2 million.

The Giants announced an operating loss of $866,613 last year after posting a deficit of over $1.98 million in 2018.

CEO Dave Matthews told The Age injuries alone had cost the Giants as much as $1.5 million over the last two seasons.

The Age reported last month that St Kilda received a total AFL distribution of $20.6 million or about $4 million more than the next Victorian clubs.

In contrast, strong clubs West Coast, Richmond and Collingwood receive the minimum slice of the AFL distribution of $11.5 million.

The Suns received $23.7 million in AFL distributions in 2018 and $24.7 million in 2017.

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