The Roar
The Roar


Brisbane Lions deep in debt

Roar Guru
26th July, 2014

Brisbane’s debt level is a noose around the AFL club’s neck, new chief executive Greg Swann says.

Swann, who was appointed on Friday, says he has already met with the AFL regarding the Lions’ debt.

“There’s some serious things that need to be done and done pretty quickly if we can,” Swann told Radio 3AW on Saturday.

“I think it will push out to about 12 million plus by the end of this year, so it’s substantial.

“The club had already been talking to the AFL before I got involved.

“There’s some steps in place, with some of the equalisation, I think there’s some help there even in paying the interest and things like that.

“The club will lose money this year and that has happened for the last few years.

“So first of all we’ve got to stem the bleeding. We’ve got to get that part right.

“Hopefully the first step is to get back to break even because I think it is forecast to lose two, two-and-a-half million dollars this year.


“We can’t keep doing that and survive. So we’ve got to stem that bleeding and then we can look to attack the debt.

“The AFL are aware of it and they’re very mindful.

“We’ve got to get this historical debt away because it is a bit of a noose around our neck.”

The former Collingwood and Carlton boss says he has urgent business in a market dominated by rugby league.

“It’s a Broncos town,” Swann said.

Swann is determined to lift the Lions’ media profile in the Queensland capital.

“We need to get our fair share,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s the good stories not bad ones which seems to be, I hear it’s been happening lately.”


Swann said Brisbane’s premiership coach and board member Leigh Matthews was influential in his move north.

“He was just brutally honest about where it was all at and just felt Brisbane needed someone who’s experienced,” Swann said.

Swann said he had enjoyed helping to rebuild Collingwood and Carlton during his time at those clubs and sees similarities with Brisbane’s situation.

“That was the thing that was probably the biggest attraction was the challenge,” Swann said.

Swann’s tasks will include assessing the viability of the proposed training and administration base at Springfield in Brisbane’s south-west.