THE WESTERN Bulldogs made an operating loss of $143,090 in 2013 but were able to inject more funds into their football department.
The Dogs announced their loss on Thursday in a statement that said they were encouraged by their increased investment in 'their core business of football'.
They have made football department spending a priority and are prepared to invest a further $1.5 million in the area in 2014, which will represent a $2.7 million increase in such spending since 2012.
"The entire club has balanced the need to manage expenditure while continuing to invest in our football department in what is clearly recognised as an unequal environment," Bulldogs CEO Simon Garlick said.
"Although today's result falls short of break-even for the club – the operating loss represents less than one half of one per cent of total revenue for the year.
"While the club is reporting a small operating loss it is encouraging that our EBITDA for the 2013 year was $1.881 million and that we have increased revenue by $1.3 million in 2013, enabling us to invest an extra $1.18 million into football."
The EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.
Garlick also said the Dogs would look to have the capacity to pay the full salary cap next year – "if strategically required".
Despite the increase in football department spending since 2012, the Dogs expect to remain in the bottom quartile of AFL club spending in the area next year.
Garlick said the club had worked hard this year to minimise the financial impact of "two challenging years on-field".
He added the Dogs looked forward to "continuing to work with the AFL and other stakeholders to invest in the future health of the code through broader revenue sharing opportunities".
"The club appreciates the engagement of the AFL and the other clubs in relation to revenue sharing and efforts to enhance the competitiveness of the League next year and we look forward to continuing dialogue aimed at boosting the overall health of our competition," he said.
"While the implementation of world's best practice revenue sharing system is essential for our club, no one should doubt our resolve to build our support base and all aspects of our business.
"2014 is set to be a big and exciting year for the club with our own VFL team, the Footscray Bulldogs returning to Victorian University Whitten Oval and a competitive year expected from our senior side."
Twitter: @AFL_JenPhelan