Footy is alive and well in Western Australia, playing a significant part in connecting and enhancing communities right across our State.
The West Australian Football Commission has reported a net profit for the 2018 season of $1.44 million and a record participation total of 342,433, including a 2.7% increase in club numbers to 68,575 players.
The financial result includes an operating profit of $880,657 and a net gain of $557,773 on the sale of Subiaco Oval stadium assets, in what was a significant year of transition away from managing the venue, whilst still bearing responsibility for its costs.
On the field, WA Football participation increased by 3.7% overall and accounted for 20.8% of national participation, second only to Victoria in terms of participation by State.
WA’s junior football saturation rates topped the nation with 20% of this age group playing club football compared to 18% in South Australia and 17% in Victoria.
Female football grew by 3.3% to 95,875 participants, which included a 40% increase in club-based female teams from 214 to 301.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor thanked all of the WAFL and community clubs, players, officials and volunteers on making 2018 another successful season and said that club-based participation would continue to be a key area of focus for the WAFC.
“While it is encouraging to see overall participation numbers continue to grow, it is critical we ensure players from introductory programs are connected to club football and then retained, particularly in the Youth age group,” he said.
"The WAFL competition also experienced challenges in 2018, including West Perth Football Club entering voluntary administration, but continued to play a key part in our communities, highlighted by a 2.5% increase in attendance and 5% increase in the 7 Network television audience.
“I would also like to congratulate Fremantle and West Coast on continuing to underpin football in Western Australia after a highly successful transition to Optus Stadium.
“Their excellent work to accommodate new and existing members, explore additional revenue opportunities and deliver a world-class match-day experience resulted in a significant royalty contribution to the WAFC that was further boosted by West Coast’s 2018 AFL Premiership.”
The shift of AFL games to Optus Stadium in 2018 also required the establishment of a new royalty model with Fremantle and West Coast.
Therefore, the AFL Club Royalty revenue recognised in the 2018 profit is an estimate based on the status of royalty negotiations at the time of preparing the accounts. The full details of the final royalty agreements will be available once negotiations are complete.
The WAFC would also like to acknowledge the AFL and the West Australian Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for their ongoing investment into WA football and the community benefits it delivers.