Penrith Panthers have revealed the price of success – $17 million the club spends on football teams each year.
A build-from-within philosophy, Panthers has heavily invested in rugby league development – from grassroots to the NRL.
In 2019, the last full rugby league calendar year before COVID-19 interrupted the development programs, the Panthers spent $17.06 million on its football programs, from the Harold Matthews right through to the NRL.
For players from the club’s Harold Matthews, SG Ball, Jersey Flegg, NSW Cup, Tarsha Gale, NRL and development squads, the Panthers spent a combined:
- $12.5 million on wages
- $1.1 million on medical costs and health fund premiums
- $450,000 on clothing
- $236,000 on travel costs
- $260,000 on housing allowances
- $220,000 on meals and entertainment
- $180,000 on tertiary education allowances
“We’re finally seeing the fruits of all our investment,” Panthers Group chief executive Brian Fletcher said.
“We’ve invested a lot of money over the years and, fortunately, we’re getting repayments financially with a very successful football side. It proves the more money you put into development the more success long term you’ll have.
“We have to stick to it in the future. You have to look at examples of all the kids now. Jarome, Nathan, Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o … we spent a lot of money on all of them from when they were 14 or 15 years old … No matter how much it costs you, if you can afford to do it, there are rewards at the end.”
The club has been a breeding ground for talent for years, with Penrith-affiliated juniors making up about 50 players at rival clubs in the NRL and Super League.
There has been a suggestion that the Panthers have abandoned the Penrith and Districts Junior Rugby League and its 24 local clubs after withdrawing its annual $250,000 grant in 2019.
However, the club has provided about $355,000 in services (including office space, IT support and equipment, stadium usage, staff and events) free of charge since 2019.
|Accommodation and travel||$236,053|
|Tertiary education allowance||$177,649|
|Entertainment and meals||$222,681|
|Licenses and subscriptions||$77,389|
|First aid and medical supplies||$122,846|