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Volume 6 No. 196


Australian Football League side Geelong CEO Brian Cook "has reopened the debate on football department spending, declaring a cap will be introduced and clubs must reduce costs or players will seek a major pay rise," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. While stressing that the Cats' management or board "had yet to debate the issue in depth," Cook's own view was that "a cap would eventually be implemented." He said that "it was a concern that so few clubs were able to turn a profit last year." Cook: ''There is a need for clubs to find sustainable business models as 11 made losses in 2013. We must reduce costs in football departments and grow our commercial areas. This is easier said than done" (THE AGE, 1/28).

CHANGES NEEDED: In Melbourne, Grant Baker reported AFL Players' Association CEO Matt Finnis warned the boom in football department spending "could kill off the salary cap if it continues unchecked." Finnis said that "change needed to be made during the final two years of the current deal, with even more reform set for the next agreement." He said the union was very concerned about the declining "share of wallet" that players were now receiving (HERALD SUN, 1/27).

EPL side West Ham United's "net debt has increased" to £77M ($128M) and owners David Sullivan and David Gold "have loaned the club" another £10.5M ($17.4M) to try to secure its Premier League status, according to the PA. The club's annual accounts for the year ending May 31 reveal that West Ham enjoyed record revenue of £89.8M and "had more commercial income than ever before," but the club still made a loss of £3.5M. It was a significant improvement on the £24M loss of the season before, when they were in the Championship, and the club believes the move to the Olympic Stadium in '16 "will herald a new era of financial success." The co-owners have loaned West Ham a total of £45.7M and in the summer refinanced the club's bank loans -- these now total £26.7M ($44.3M), payable in Jan. '16, plus a further £15M ($25M) the club "took out on a short-term basis secured on broadcast income." West Ham Vice-Chair Karren Brady said that new Premier League spending controls would "limit the ability of clubs to over-extend themselves on player costs" and will help West Ham increase profitability. The accounts show West Ham's wage bill increased to £56.2M ($93.2M) from £41.6M (PA, 1/27).