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Panthers reveal the price of success

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.

Wages $12,501,392
Accommodation and travel $236,053
Transfer fees $12,645
Equipment  $77,682
Tertiary education allowance  $177,649
Supplements  $116,308
Superannuation $634,918
Subcontractors  $22,673
Payroll tax $731,915
Injury insurance  $118,611
Motor vehicles $60,557
Medical $359,998
Entertainment and meals $222,681
Licenses and subscriptions   $77,389
Levies $15,047
Housing allowances  $261,636
Honorariums $98,042
Health fund $611,066
First aid and medical supplies $122,846
Clothing $457,642
Car expenses $121,836
TOTAL $17.06 million

This data was first published by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.