The loyalty of Western Bulldogs members in 2020 has saved the Club millions of dollars, according to the Club’s two leaders.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc for sporting leagues and Clubs all over the world, with the AFL doing everything it can to complete this season and limit the financial damage.
Despite crowds being unable to attend games, Bulldogs members in their tens of thousands pledged their membership money – a gesture which will be pivotal to the Club’s bottom line at the end of 2020.
President Peter Gordon and CEO Ameet Bains discussed the Club’s finances in relation to Covid-19 on the most recent edition of The Drill Hall podcast.
“We started off that period in March thinking there could be a run on membership refunds which might cost us four or five million dollars,” Gordon said.
“And there might be a run on corporate sponsors saying if you can’t deliver the product, you can’t expect the money.”
Thankfully, the Bulldogs’ extended family dug deep when the Club needed it most.
“It warrants a massive thank you and sense of gratitude to our members, and fans and partners, who’ve stuck with us,” Bains said.
“The overwhelming number of our members have stuck with us, which has helped sure up our financial position.”
The Club’s board and management has focussed on prudent decision-making which will help navigate its way through the immediate threat of the pandemic and safeguard it for the future, while still doing what it can to support the team to be successful on the field.
The outcome of those decisions mean the Club’s finances could be in reasonable shape by the end of the year.
“When this first broke and we came to understand the dimensions of it, I think I made the public comment that the Club was facing its biggest ever loss,” Gordon said.
“We’ve worked our way through that to a point where we actually think we’ll do alright in 2020.
“It’s true to say we’ve come to understand our business a whole lot more. We know where our ambit is.
“We’re not going to suffer a catastrophic loss. We might make a loss, we might break even, and who knows we might even make a small profit.”