Footy in the Depression

As the depression bit in the 1930s it had a defined impact on football in NSW.

Affiliation fees were reduced as were admission prices to grounds.

Sydneysiders were used to top class interstate teams and club sides coming to their town to play against a local representative outfit.  This was mostly used as a fillip for the game where promotion meant so much not only for its advancement in Sydney but also to its very existence.

The games attracted reasonable crowds which kept the turnstiles clicking. On a number of occasions, any profit after expenses, were left with the NSW Football League.

It is interesting to see the effect of the depression had on football in this table:

YEAR

REP GAMES

AT
HOME

AWAY

CARNIVAL

LEAGUE  ANNUAL
PROFIT/LOSS
*1926

4

3

1

No

+£314
1927

8

4

4

4

+£44
**1928

3

3

No

+£28
1929

5

4

1

No

-£200
1930

7

2

5

4

-£47
1931

1

1

No

-£14
1932

1

1

No

+£120
#1933

5

5

5

-£117
1934

3

1

2

No

-£54

 

*The VFL paid the entire expenses of the NSW team’s visit to Melbourne and allowed the NSWAFL to retain the entire gate receipts from the return match in Sydney.  This helped in the investment of  £125 for improvements at Erskineville Oval.  In the following year the league wrote off £100 which had been put aside for more work on the ground.

** This was after a £150 loan repayment to the VFL.

# Sydney hosted a national carnival at the SCG over 10 days.

In at least two of the seasons mentioned two respective  VFL clubs visited Sydney to play exhibition games.  After expenses were deducted the balance was left with the NSWAFL.

In the early 1920s one league treasurer bemoaned the fact that the league spent money it did not have, in anticipation of a good finals series or a representative game/s that would carry them through.  In those days the league operated and took the gate takings at club games which became the major source of income for the association for a number of years.

Regardless of finances, the game always went on, matches were always played.  In numerous seasons the league made a loss which can only be blamed on poor decision making.

In several of the 1920s seasons the league only got through with a loan from the VFL.  In late 1929 the league received a £200 ($15,000 in today’s money) bill from the Erskineville Park Trust – a substantial amount which it could not pay until the following April when Australian Football Council forwarded them some funds.

It makes you wonder where the game could be in Sydney had the right decision been made.

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