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AFL membership ladder: Tigers set to reach 100,000 once again, as Suns bottom out

Richmond are on track to crack 100,000 members again in 2019, having reached almost 75,000 members by the first week of December.

The Tigers faithful, buoyed by the signing of former Gold Coast key forward Tom Lynch, have backed the club to rebound from their 39-point preliminary final loss to Collingwood last season.

Richmond CEO Brendan Gale told 3AW this week that having “set a historic benchmark at 100,000 … we want to go past it again".

Gale stressed the importance of making members feel like part of “something bigger than just a football team”, insisting he was “not obsessed by goals”.

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Of the other Melbourne clubs, Essendon (51,011), Geelong (41,034) and Carlton (38,965) enter the Christmas period with healthy figures, while Melbourne (30,096), North Melbourne (26,921), Western Bulldogs (26,855) and St Kilda (25,500) remain in the middle band of the league tally.

Richmond's new signing: Tom Lynch.

Richmond's new signing: Tom Lynch.Credit:Justin McManus

Collingwood refused to disclose their membership figure, but the club expects a significant bump following their grand final appearance in 2018, having declined in membership to 75,507 from the previous year.

Traditional interstate powerhouse West Coast sit at just under 60,000 members following their premiership year, while Fremantle have registered just under 45,000 members.

Across the border in South Australia, the Crows have already recorded 77,504 members while Port Adelaide sat at 42,723.

Adelaides figure, however, includes non-financial, digital-only "We Fly as One" members, a quasi-mailing list which provides no access to games and offers a 10 per cent discount on club merchandise.

In the northern states, Sydney had counted just shy of 30,000 members while the Giants registered 13,814.

The Brisbane Lions were just shy of 13,000 members, while Gold Coast have recorded a paltry 5894.

In 2018 the AFL achieved more than a million club members across the country for the first time in league history, an 11 per cent increase on the year prior and the 18th consecutive year of membership growth.

Thirteen clubs broke their membership records in 2018.

MEMBERSHIP LADDER

Adelaide (77,504)*
Richmond (74,110)
Hawthorn (60,007)
West Coast (59,800)
Essendon (51,011)
Fremantle (44,293)
Port Adelaide (42,723)
Geelong (41,034)
Carlton (38,965)
Melbourne (30,096)
Sydney (29,046)
North Melbourne (26,921)
Western Bulldogs (26,855)
St Kilda (25,500)
Greater Western Sydney (13,814)
Brisbane (12,974)
Gold Coast (5,894)

* Includes non-financial "We Fly as One" members.

**Collingwood refused to divulge their figures.

Paul is a trainee journalist for The Age.

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