The Football Australia (FA) governing body has announced a 48% increase in revenues over the past financial year, fueled by the on-pitch success of its men’s and women’s national teams at international tournaments.
FA said its revenues were up to A$113.26 million ($74.3 million) for the year ending June 30, 2023 – a significant increase on the A$76.4 million announced the previous year.
The increase in income was largely thanks to several new sponsorship deals and the prize money collected by the men’s Socceroos team for reaching the last 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Sponsorship revenue increased from AU$13.7 million to AU$20.1 million year-on-year (YoY) on the back of the Matildas' ongoing naming rights deal with CommBank and the Socceroos' new three-year naming rights agreement with fast food chain Subway, worth almost AU$12 million, as well as new deals with toy company Lego Group and confectionary giant Cadbury.
Merchandising revenue also increased from AU$1.1 million to AU$2.3 million YoY.
The Socceroos’ one-off payment of AU$19.3 million from world governing body FIFA for reaching the round of 16 during the 2022 World Cup contributed to the revenue rise. FA said it also paid out bonuses to its players and staff for their participation, with employee costs up AU$45.5 million from AU$27.3 million the same time last year.
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However, other areas of revenue took a hit due to the lower numbers of national team matches staged in Australia during a World Cup year.
Broadcast revenue decreased 26% YoY to AU$11.4 million from AU$15.4 million in 2022, while matchday revenue also fell from AU$6.3 million to $4.5 million.
FA chief executive James Johnson said: “The year 2023 has been a watershed for Football Australia and the sport more broadly. It has been a year where the sport has been able to differentiate itself from others within the domestic sporting landscape by highlighting its inherent qualities.
“We have never been in a stronger position to capitalize on the popularity of the sport, and we have already taken steps to take Australian football to new heights in the future.”
The governing body’s revenue is expected to rise further in the next financial year to reflect the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) alongside New Zealand, which took place between July and August, as well as the success of the women’s Matildas team reaching the semi-finals during the tournament, which were not factored into the latest financial results.
The Matildas’ prize money from the World Cup was $6.3 million, with FIFA paying out from a total prize pot of $110 million compared with the $440 million available to the men’s tournament.
Last week, FA announced a 10-year kit deal renewal with sportswear giant Nike, which will further boost its revenues for the next financial year, while the governing body is predicting record domestic broadcast deals to be struck in the next few months.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Johnson said the sale of Matildas merchandise in Q1 of the new financial year has already surpassed last year’s AU$3.2 million total.
The governing body is also bidding to host the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup and 2029 FIFA Club World Cup after withdrawing from the race to host the 2034 men’s FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, FA has announced Anter Isaac as its new chair and successor to Chris Nikou, who stepped down after the governing body’s AGM last Wednesday (November 22).
Isaac, who was unanimously elected by board members, said: “Building on the strong foundation laid by Chris [Nikou] and previous boards, our focus will be on nurturing our nation's passion for football, advancing our strategic objectives, and ensuring the sustained growth and success of football at all levels in Australia.”
Nikou was voted in as chair of Football Australia in November 2018 but decided not to seek re-election for the next term. During his five-year term, Nikou oversaw significant progress and growth both on and off the field, including the country’s hosting of the 2023 WWC and the on-field success of the men’s and women’s national teams.
During the AGM, Nikou said: “Our strong financial and commercial outcomes, alongside these successes, highlight the robustness and resilience of Australian football.
“With the sport poised for continued growth, I am confident that under Anter’s leadership, Football Australia will scale new heights and continue to make significant strides in the world of football.”