Outgoing Crows Chairman Rob Chapman has confirmed Adelaide will be one of just five ‘unassisted’ clubs in the AFL competition in 2021.

The decision not to seek financing from the League means the Crows will not have to report to AFL House, nor be as accountable as other clubs for its expenditures.

Speaking at Friday night’s Club Champion at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Chapman thanked the Club’s passionate members and premier partner Bendigo Bank for their support and generosity.

“Every year, I have stood here and thanked our members for their support and thought we could ask no more of them,” Chapman said.

“But this year, we did … and they came through for us in spades.

“Their loyalty, passion and in many instances, their generosity in the face of adversity has quite frankly been awe-inspiring. 

16:21 Mins
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Rob Chapman Speech

Crows Chairman Rob Chapman speaks at the 2020 Club Champion.

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“Particular thanks to our partner in Bendigo Bank, we will go into Season 2021 classified as one of just five ‘unassisted’ clubs in the competition.

“This means we run our own race to our own agenda, and reflect good, prudent decisions made over many years to allow us choices in our decision-making process.” 

Chapman announced in February 2019 the Crows were debt free, providing an opportunity for the Club to explore a new state-of-the-art training and administration base in North Adelaide. 

While plans were paused earlier this year due to the economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they could be picked up again in the near future once Adelaide’s books are again in the green. 

“By no means will it be smooth sailing and we have debt once again after spending the last decade eliminating it,” Chapman said.

When we again become debt-free in a year or two’s time, it will allow us to then focus on the construction of new facilities. This will be a priority.

- Rob Chapman

Chapman thanked the AFL for their leadership, as well as all 17 clubs for their collaborative approach during the pandemic.

In a farewell message after over a decade at the helm, he confirmed a new chairman is set to assume control of the Crows Board in the coming weeks.

“To complete a year of significant change for our club, we will have a new chairman going into next season,” Chapman said.

“The new chair will sign off on this next stage of our strategy at the October board meeting.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Adelaide Football Club, I have met some wonderful, inspirational and very dedicated people and I’ve also learned a whole lot.

“It’s been a privilege to lead this board and lead this football club and I know I leave with us on a journey that will lead to eventual and sustainable success very quickly.”