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Dons won’t seek AFL funds

April 14, 2020 4:00 pm in by

ESSENDON won’t seek AFL financial assistance, believing the club’s independence would be partly compromised by receiving funding from the league.

The Bombers have joined clubs including Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Hawthorn and Richmond in opting against requesting financial help from the AFL amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The AFL has secured credit lines of up to $600 million to support clubs during the suspension of competition until at least May 31.

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But Essendon’s president Lindsay Tanner says the Bombers won’t be among the so- called ‘assisted’ clubs.

“Assisted clubs will be required to work closely with the AFL around in-depth club reporting and will also have to stringently work within AFL approved parameters with respect to expense management,” Tanner said in a letter to members on Tuesday.

“And although the financial backing of the assisted club is guaranteed by the AFL, it is not lost on us that a significant portion of the club’s independence would be compromised.

“As such, we are determined to maintain our financial independence from the AFL for as long as possible and therefore we will be classified what the AFL deems as an ‘unassisted club’ for the time being.”

The Bombers are midway through an expansion of the club’s Tullamarine training facility with Tanner conceding funding to finish the redevelopment would be made more complex by not seeking AFL money.

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“This began in October last year and was scheduled to be completed late this year,” Tanner said.

“We are in the process of exploring our options with respect to the scope of the project more broadly and the existing financial contributions we have in place to support the project.”

(C) AAP 2020

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