Perth’s oldest football club in financial turmoil


North Fremantle Football Club’s empty iconic grandstand at Gilbert Fraser reserve. Picture credit: Harry Grigson

One of Perth’s oldest football clubs is losing tens of thousands of dollars after a major ground redevelopment was delayed.

North Fremantle Football Club has been forced to seek new training facilities, which it says is costing the club about $5000 a week in lost revenue from bar and merchandise sales.

North Fremantle Football Club’s president Nick Holt said unless the issue is fixed, the club will struggle into the future.

“We have lost a total of $45,000 since the start of the season in comparison to last year, and it’s absolutely destroying us,” Mr Holt said.

The club has been battling with the Fremantle Council to get new flood lights at their home ground, at Gilbert Fraser Reserve, for years but the works has had continual delays.

Mr Holt said one of the major delays was due to the initial contractor entering voluntary administration even after being paid by the council for the light towers.

“The first contractor was paid for the towers before he folded, so the council had to pay for them twice to get them from the supplier,” he said.

Fremantle councillor Bryn Jones said the football club would need to apply to council for lost funds.

“They (North Fremantle Football Club) would have to chase it up with the council if they feel they are eligible to be reimbursed,” Mr Jones said.

The clubs struggle has not just affected them off-field though, the team is yet to register a win this season and relegation is looming.

“We are winless this season and it’s tough to build continuity when you don’t have access to your correct facilities,” Mr Holt said.

“It’s tough to build comradery and morale when the ground we train at has no changerooms, or a hall where teammates can share a beer and banter after training, which is a huge part of community level sport,” he said.

A new contractor has been hired and the light towers are expected to be delivered this week with construction scheduled to start immediately.