THEY have made the finals just twice in the last 30 years, but Richmond has posted its greatest ever financial profit, the dormant giant of the AFL making more than $3million this year. Incredibly the Tigers record profit was $1million more than the operating profit posted by grand finalist Hawthorn, which was announced last week.
The Richmond result included contributions from its Fighting Tiger Fund, but Richmond has now posted financial profits for eight years running.
The profit meant Richmond had reduced its debt by $1.5million to below $2million - down more than $2.5million in two years. Richmond narrowly missed the finals this year meaning they cannot now fulfil the ambitious plan of "3-0-75", the promise of three finals appearances, zero debt and 75,000 members within five years that they set three years ago.
While they were short of the on-field target, the strongly supported Tigers are now on track for the off-field goal, with debt likely to be wiped out and the rising membership of 53,072 a significant factor in the club profit. The club also has record sponsorship income of $3.4million.
Richmond last played finals in 2001, which was their first finals appearance since 1982 when they were runner-up to Carlton. The club is investing heavily in its football department in a bid to address that woeful record.
"Our football department is better resourced than it has ever been. Our players will shortly have a state-of-the art Punt Road Oval on which to train, which compliments the ME Bank Centre, new cutting-edge equipment and technology has been purchased, we have enhanced coaching and recruiting structures, and we will stand alone in the VFL competition from 2014," club president Gary March said, welcoming the profit result.