NEW Carlton president Richard Pratt has pledged to dip into his personal fortune to help the ailing Blues, whose plight he has blamed on years of bad management.
Packaging magnate Pratt, believed to be Australia’s third richest man with an estimated worth of $5.2 billion, was unanimously voted on to the board and then into the presidency by the Blues’ 12 other directors on Thursday night.
The club is $7.5 million in debt and needed AFL support last season to stay afloat, but the lifelong Carlton supporter anticipated turning the Blues’ financial affairs around.
“Obviously I’ll be putting in a dollar, it might extend to two,” Pratt said.
“Eventually we’ll get the club back financially and administratively, which is mostly what I’m about.
“I’ll leave the football to Sticks (vice president and former premiership captain Stephen Kernahan) and the other people who are involved in the football.”
Pratt called on other Carlton supporters to also contribute to the cause.
“I get out in front, if I’ve got a few bob, I put a few bob in, I put more than a few bob in,” he said.
“But everybody, it doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to everybody and everybody should participate and help us become a strong club, because unity is strength.”
Pratt, whose Pratt Foundation gives about $10 million per year to welfare causes, rejected a suggestion the Blues were another welfare case, instead saying they were an organisation struggling under poor management.
“There are a lot of organisations who have got bad management, even big companies in Australia have got bad management, even governments have got bad management,” he said.
“But they don’t go under, they find new and better management.”