Demons wipe out last of their $5m debt
JAKE NIALLAugust 5, 2010
MELBOURNE last night finally achieved the major goal of Jim Stynes' presidency by wiping out the remains of its $5 million debt.
In the final debt-demolition function at Melbourne's new AAMI Park headquarters, the Demons raised more than the several hundred thousand dollars needed to eradicate the rest of the debt. The debt had peaked at nearly $5 million when Stynes took over as president in 2008.
Stynes last night told an audience of about 350 supporters - all of whom had contributed to the debt demolition by donating - that removing the debt had been his board's No. 1 priority.
Aaron Davey with Jim Stynes after a win over Essendon this year at the MCG. Stynes' son Tiernan is in very left. Photo: PENNY STEPHENS
Several Melbourne players addressed the meeting with captain James McDonald and members of his leadership group talking about the values that the club and team stood for. Coach Dean Bailey also spoke at the function, hosted by ex-champion and captain Garry Lyon.
Stynes paid tribute to board member Peter Szental, who died recently. Szental donated $200,000 at the initial debt-demolition function and was the biggest single contributor to the club over the past two years.
The Demons plan to turn their attention to investing and developing an asset base since they are no longer weighed down by one of the competition's most onerous debts. The club will make a $2 million profit this year, albeit one based largely on abnormal items such as the extra $100,000 a game from the new MCG deal last year.
The Demons needed to raise $767,000 to wipe off the debt, with much of the funds being raised by supporters signing up as Foundation Heroes, giving a minimum of $5000 each. The exact amount raised was still being determined late last night.