Netball Australia On The Brink Of Financial Ruin

Debt amounts to $11 million

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One of Australia’s most popular female sports is reportedly on the brink of collapse, accumulating $11 million in loss and debts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Daily Telegraph exclusively reported yesterday key documents and emails from the organisation pinpoint key decisions that have left it struggling.

The debt may see Netball Australia risk closure within the next 12 months.

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According to the report, Netball Australia lost $7.2 million over the last two years and has bank debt totalling approximately $4 million.

The debts are due to be paid by next year.

Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan confirmed the sport was struggling.

“The landscape of sport is very different and we have to start running netball like a business … there is a legacy left from past administrators,” she said.

“We have a ‘going concern’ notice from our auditors, which highlights just the sensitivities of NA’s financial position at this particular moment. We do not take this lightly.

“We can no longer be paralysed by fear to make the tough decisions – our stakeholders have to understand and have faith in the appointments that have been made.”

The investigation also revealed that the sport was surviving off special government handouts before the pandemic, after the decision was made in 2016 to walk away from the trans-Tasman series and launch the Suncorp Super Netball league.

Financial issues have lingered the league for many years, however many insiders claim it was made worse when Netball Australia turned its back on its New Zealand neighbour.

“Netball Australia did not think the New Zealand teams were good enough to be part of it."

- An insider into trans-Tasman deal.

Another said: “It was a board decision, but it was absolutely driven by Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer. Netball Australia was banking on a big payday from the broadcast deal.”

Other factors contributing to Netball Australia’s debt include the previous broadcast deal, bank loans on assets, player pay rise with a salary cap that costs the league 92.85 per cent of the new broadcast revenue, and Covid hubs.


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16 June 2022

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