An inability to play home games in Canberra, in addition to other major disruptions to the Club’s business operations as a result of COVID-19, has significantly impacted the GIANTS 2020 financial result.
The Club reported a 2020 operating loss before depreciation of $4.6m based on COVID-19 related issues, incurring $1.7m of one-off restructuring costs and non-cash balance sheet adjustments in addition to the operating loss.
Notwithstanding, the GIANTS set a new membership record of 30,547 members in 2020 – the club’s ninth consecutive membership record. The Club also completed a $4.5m upgrade of its training and administration facility at Sydney Olympic Park, adding significantly to its asset base. The Club’s state of the art training and administration facility will provide amenity and benefits to the Club and the community – including providing female sporting pathways - for the long term.
The Club’s operations were significantly impacted by state border restrictions which negated the club’s ability to fulfil a number of major contractual commitments including the partnership with the ACT Government to play three home games in Canberra. The Club was also unable to play its full complement of GIANTS Stadium home games and conduct its usual schedule of events.
Operating challenges faced by co-major sponsor Virgin Australia - contributing to an unavoidable downturn in commercial revenue – also impacted the year end result.
GIANTS Chairman, Tony Shepherd AO, said the club’s financial result primarily suffered from border closures and business restructuring, while more broadly reflecting the extreme economic circumstances of 2020.
“Our 2020 financial result was extraordinary due to COVID-19. The AFL had no choice but significantly reduce AFL distributions and introduce a number of measures to ensure the season was completed,” Mr Shepherd said.
“Some AFL industry measures impacted on staff numbers and beyond the cost of redundancies, were keenly felt from a cultural perspective across our Club, and indeed the AFL competition, as part of a business restructure.”
“We were particularly disappointed border closures prevented us from playing in Canberra this year given our strong supporter base and community connection in the ACT, along with the support we receive from key partners like the ACT Government.
“Further, we were not able to complete all Sydney home games at GIANTS Stadium – which impacted revenue significantly - during what was a particularly difficult season for our fans and members.
“To achieve a membership record this year was remarkable, our members have again shown why they are the lifeblood of the Club. We thank every one of our members for their patience and unwavering support this year - we’re looking forward to repaying that faith across the 2021 AFL and AFLW seasons.
“We are also most grateful for the ongoing support of our corporate and commercial partners, many of whom have had to negotiate their own challenges this year. The support of these partners, and our members and fans, has us well placed to bounce back in 2021. We are also grateful for the manner in which the AFL, together with all Clubs, ensured the 2020 AFL Season could be completed successfully.
“We thank the NSW Government for their support in ensuring the GIANTS training and administration facility continues to be a state of the art community hub, providing high performance and community outreach opportunities to people right across Western Sydney.
“Despite the economic headwinds faced over the last 12 months, 2021 marks our tenth season in the AFL competition and we’re look forward to building on the remarkable growth we’ve experienced during that period.”