North Melbourne aiming to wipe out remaining debt next year

North Melbourne aims to be debt-free within 12 months — representing a $9 million turnaround in the space of a decade — after this year delivering a $200,000 profit against the backdrop of the crippling COVID-19 pandemic.

Kangaroos chief executive Ben Amarfio revealed to the Herald Sun the club had paid off more than $250,000 in debt this year, with the current debt being $400,000.

He also dismissed suggestions the club would be paying for three senior coaches next year, saying payouts for Brad Scott and Rhyce Shaw had already been finalised.

“Our goal is to have zero debt this time next year,” Amarfio said.

“We have wiped, I think, over $9 million of debt in the last decade. I think it is a great testament to the board, to the previous management teams and previous staff who have done a great job over that decade.

“There is one very good reason why we got the result we did this year and that’s because more than 97 per cent of our members stuck with us, despite the fact they couldn’t go and see one game, plus Mazda, Spirit of Tasmania and our other sponsors and coterie group stayed on board.”

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Ben Amarfio is confident North Melbourne can be debt-free next year. Picture: Jake NowakowskiSource:News Corp Australia

Amarfio, who took over the role last November, said he didn’t understand “the negative narrative” some people have about the club’s finances.

“I am not going to speak to other club’s finances, but I can speak to our club’s finances. At the start of the season we had a debt of $650,000 … we have reduced that debt – despite COVID and despite not having any of our members attend matches and all the financial benefits that come along with that – down from $650,000 to $400,000,” Amarfio said.

He said the club’s profit of around $200,000 was not dissimilar to the profit made by premiership powerhouse Richmond, who this week announced an operating profit of $217,727 for 2020.

Suggestions the club was still carrying over the contracts of former coaches Scott and Shaw into next year’s budget were off the mark, he said.

“That’s another of the many misnomers about the club,” he said.

“Brad Scott and Rhyce Shaw’s payments have been finished, finalised and completed in the 2020 financial year. We shut the book on the 31st of October.”

Kangaroos unveil new head coach Noble

AFL: North Melbourne have unveiled new senior coach David Noble following the departure of Rhyce Shaw.

Amarfio confirmed the club’s new coach David Noble would be on a rolling contract.

He said the club’s push to get itself completely out of debt by this time next year would mean so much in terms of future planning and potentially playing a role in the ambitious Arden St urban renewal precinct plan.

“(If the club is out of debt), it means we start to build our cash reserves and we start to build our asset base,” he said.

“That’s what we will be concentrating on and that’s the Arden St precinct and the whole urban renewal of the whole North Melbourne area could bring about seismic change for the club and for the community.”

The North Melbourne Football Club didn’t feature in the draft structure planning for the Urban Renewal Precinct – to be located near the Metro Tunnel’s planned Arden Stration and to accommodate approximately 34,000 jobs and new 15,000 residents.

But after forming a powerful committee the Kangaroos have submitted a 148-page document with the Victorian Planning Authority and is hoping to play a role in the development which will take place on the club’s home-base doorstep.

“We are hoping by the end of the first quarter of next year the government will be in a situation to finalise the structure plan and hopefully some of our suggestions and plans will be taken on board,” Amarfio said.

Originally published asRoos reveal target for club to be debt-free

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