Report: Seibold sacking causes rare loss for Broncos

 

The Broncos' horror of 2020 has been compounded by a rare off-field loss, with the Brisbane NRL club posting a half-a-million-dollar deficit following its worst ever season and the sacking of coach Anthony Seibold.

The Broncos have reported a $470,000 loss for 2020 compared to a pre-tax profit of $3.36 million in 2019. The club regularly posts seven-figure profits from revenue of around $50 million.

The crippling impact of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Broncos to cut 20 employees from their $22 million payroll and slash the club's budget.

Huge changes to crowd sizes, the reduction in the NRL season and Brisbane's terrible on-field performances which resulted in the club collecting the wooden spoon for the first time in 32 years contributed to the loss.

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A speculated $1.5 million payout to Seibold, who was only two seasons into a five-year contract, has also impacted Brisbane's bottom line.

The Broncos are yet to release their 2020 annual report to the Australian Stock Exchange, however it is unlikely Seibold's severance package will be made public.

While the salaries of club executives are visible in the report, the head coach's remuneration has been omitted in recent years due to organisational structures and lines of reporting.

Given the huge impact COVID had on the NRL and Seibold's sacking, a loss of $470,000 could be considered a somewhat acceptable result in CEO Paul White's final year in charge of the club.

The Broncos explained the reasons behind the loss.

 

"The whole of the NRL was negatively impacted (by COVID), with only the first round of the 2020 NRL Premiership played to regular crowd attendance," the Broncos said in a statement.

"From round six, limited crowds were permitted to attend NRL matches. These venue restrictions impacted the group's commercial operations through home game related shortfalls and the inability to deliver all contracted game day benefits which resulted in a reduction in commercial revenue through sponsorship, ticketing, membership and merchandise sales.

"In addition, a review was undertaken of the fixed cost base of the business including remuneration levels and both current and future staffing requirements.

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White had to deal with COVID cost cutting in his final year at the club. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)
Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White had to deal with COVID cost cutting in his final year at the club. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)

"This resulted in redundancy and restructure related payroll costs. Coaching and player related restructure costs also were accounted for in the 2020 financial year."

White's 10-year tenure at the Broncos will finish at the end of this month.

He will be replaced by former Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy, who has signed with the Broncos but is yet to announce his start date.

Donaghy is expected to take the reins at Red Hill midway through next month, where he will be tasked with making the Broncos a financial powerhouse again after the setbacks of 2020.

Originally published as Report: Seibold sacking causes rare loss for Broncos


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