K rock Football

Cats look to cash in on success

Geelong CEO Brian Cook. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GEELONG has sold the equivalent of five match-days of merchandise in the lead-up to Saturday’s grand final clash with Richmond as it looks to further eat into its predicted financial loss due to the impact of COVID-19.

CEO Brian Cook revealed the Cats Shop has been turning over between $40,000-$50,000 a day this week via the store at GMHBA Stadium and online, with staff working around the clock to ensure orders are filled by the weekend.

Those sales, coupled with the prizemoney from a grand final appearance ($1m for the winner, $500,000 for the runner-up), and other merchandise and memorabilia sales from a premiership win, could see Geelong go close to posting an unlikely profit for 2020.

“We’re looking now at a half-a-million-dollar loss to break-even,” Cook told krockfootball.com.au.

“Which is a lot better than what we were looking at seven months ago when we were told there would be no crowds, and we were looking at an $8m-$10m loss.

“It’s kept on coming down because of the generosity of our supporters, and our sponsors, and our donors; those groups have really assisted us.

“We’re in pretty good territory now to put the club in reasonable shape to leverage off next year.”

Cook said Geelong had already started what he labelled “scenario planning” for 2021.

“We have developed several scenarios for having no crowds, 25 per cent capacity, 50 per cent, 75 per cent, and 100 per cent capacity.

“We’ve basically got five budgets for next year.”

As well as being proud of what his club has achieved, Cook, who was CEO of West Coast when it crisscrossed the country to win the 1992 and 1994 premierships, was also full of praise for Richmond’s ability to endure the hub and reach the grand final.

“There’s no doubt that the effort, and the size of the effort, for both of ourselves and Richmond, who have been pretty much on the same journey at the same time, is as big a task and as big a challenge as any team has faced in the history of the game,” he said.

“I think the winner is the AFL, particularly in Queensland.

“I think we’ve got to pat the AFL on the back for a job well done.”

Twitter: @tom_king79