Port AdelaideThe AFL has today assured the members and supporters of the Port Adelaide Football Club that their long-term future is safe.

Overnight news emerged that Port Adelaide’s financial situation had become critical after the SANFL, who owns the clubs license, could no longer afford to keep the club afloat.

It’s been reported that the SANFL, who are in debt to the tune of $27 million, may take control of the club.

In a statement released by the AFL today Andrew Demetriou stated they have been in continuous talks with the SANFL and PAFC and will continue to work with both to secure the future of the club.

“The AFL is aware of the short and long-term strategies for the Port Adelaide Football Club, and the club is continuing to work to improve its long-term financial viability,” Demetriou said.

“It is the AFL’s clear position that the best model for our national competition, and for football in South Australia, is to have two strong well-run clubs in the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide, delivering 22 matches per season for football fans in the state.

“Under the terms of our broadcast agreement for the next five years, the AFL is committed to an 18-team competition, with the model of regular football each week in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, with two teams based in each of those states.

“In particular, we want to assure the members and supporters of the Port Adelaide Football Club that the AFL is committed to the long-term future of the club.

“The AFL will continue to closely work with both the club and the SANFL to identify what further steps need to be taken to ensure the club’s health off the field, and to enable them to compete strongly in the most challenging sporting stage in Australia.”

The planned $535 million re-development of Adelaide Oval could secure the financial future of Port Adelaide. The move is set to take place in 2014 surveys have showed that membership could rise by as much as 70% and crowd figures rise by 30%.