Hawks' finances strong ahead of election

Hawthorn acting president Peter Nankivell says the AFL club is in its strongest-ever financial position after banking $32 million from the sale of gaming venues.

The Hawks have confirmed a net operating surplus of $35.1 million, having sold two venues in suburban Melbourne this year.

It has helped improve Hawthorn's consolidated cash position to $69.1 million, with a "significant portion" of that money earmarked to help fund the club's new $100 million headquarters in Dingley.

"We are in the strongest financial position the club has been in in its history," Nankivell said in a club statement.

"These financial results showcase the commercial strength of the club as well as the unwavering support of loyal members and commercial and community partners."

Hawthorn also announced a football operations surplus of $752,006 for the 2022 financial year, boasting a record 81,494 members despite finishing 13th in Sam Mitchell's first year as coach and missing the finals for a fourth straight season.

The strong financial result comes after Nankivell's opponent Andrew Gowers claimed outgoing president Jeff Kennett's criticism of the Labor state government had cost Hawthorn up to $25 million in funding for the Dingley base.

"Late-night tweets from our outgoing president Jeff Kennett criticising government officials does not help our cause when we look to the state government for funding," Gowers said.

"In addition, I personally know of several prominent Hawthorn people who simply won't be giving us money for Dingley until the outgoing president and his proxies are out of the club."

Member voting on Kennett's successor as Hawthorn president closes on December 9, with the results to be announced four days later at the club's annual general meeting.

The election comes at a fraught time for the Hawks, with an ongoing independent investigation into bombshell claims of racism at the club from 2008-16.