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Duff and Quarters: Fremantle’s slim-down helping form AFL budget club of future

On this week’s episode of The Duff and Quarters Podcast The West Australian’s chief footy writer Mark Duffield and The Sunday Times’ sports editor Glen Quartermain examine the financial impact of COVID-19 cuts on our AFL clubs.

The conversation arose following the announcement this week that senior Freo executive Scott Gooch would be leaving the club after a string of changes in 2020.

“Clearly Fremantle is resetting itself to be a lower-cost football club because Scott Gooch’s position has ceased to exist,” Duffield said.

Subscribe to the Duff and Quarters podcast on either Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to quality audio.

“They’re thinning down their big-budget employees at the top, they’re going to lose $3.5 million from their soft cap, I suspect there’ll be $1-1.5 million out of the TPP, so that’ll be a saving of about $5 million.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see $3-4 million disappear from the general running of the club as well.

“So Fremantle might have been a $50-55 million club before COVID but I suspect Fremantle will be a $40-45 million club post COVID.

“And will probably trade very well at that level but the interesting thing will be, do they maintain services or is there a drop off in services due to all of those things.

During the AFL’s lockdown crisis this year, West Coast’s strong financial position became apparent.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles looks dejected after a loss during the 2020 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on October 03, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 03: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles looks dejected after a loss during the 2020 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on October 03, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos) Credit: AFL Photos

But while the Eagles’ position is more certain than other clubs, there could be significant personnel shifts before next season.

“The flip-side of that is up the road at West Coast, Fremantle was basically a break even club off $55 million while West Coast was a $10 million surplus club off $90 million,” Duffield continued.

“There’s a lot of fat to trim at West Coast if they have to go through a similar exercise.”

Subscribe to the Duff and Quarters podcast on either Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to quality audio.

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