Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes admits he’s “worried" about the future of his former club.
The Power battled back from a decline in crowds and revenue in 2011 to become an off-field force in the AFL but due to the coronavirus pandemic, all that good work could be undone.
Cornes recounted a story from his playing days where he thought Port Adelaide were on the verge of folding.
“My football club was in a perilous position in 2011,” he said on AFL Nation.
“One day we got an all staff email in our holidays saying that everyone was required down to the football club and I thought that was it. I thought they couldn’t pay us anymore, no one was turning up to our games, the coach had been paid out and the club’s financial position was on a knife’s edge.
“I’m really worried about my footy club because I’ve lived it, they are one of the struggling clubs who relied on AFL funding to keep them alive. Now there’s not that AFL funding – will the Port Adelaide footy club be around? It’s not that obvious of a question in two or three years and that’s what scared me a bit.”
Cornes lauded the work done by key executives at Port Adelaide to resurrect the club but warned there was plenty of work to do to with many struggling clubs “back to square one” with their finances due to the pandemic.
“(CEO) Keith Thomas came in and did a magnificent job in re-building the footy club and then (chairman) David Koch, (coach) Ken Hinkley and the team came back,” he said.
“The way they got out of trouble is investing in footy, we didn’t have the funds to get the best coaches but thye decided to go to the bank, invest in the came which go the on-field performance to turn around and then the move to Adelaide Oval secured the future.
“But now they’re back to square one.”