Essendon are blaming the ongoing supplements saga for the AFL club’s major financial loss.
The Bombers have reported a net loss of more than $1.3 million.
They issued a statement on the same day that WADA’s appeal hearing against 34 current and past Essendon players at the Court of Arbitration for Sport was expected to end.
That appeal is the last step in the controversial anti-doping process that started in February two years ago when Essendon announced they were coming under a joint AFL and ASADA investigation.
Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said in a club statement that despite going into the red by $1,336,354, the Bombers remained strong financially.
“Our financial loss this year is the result of a number of unforeseen costs to the business,” he said.
“The loss includes a combination of abnormal costs associated with the ASADA/WADA issue and the impact of a disappointing season on the field.”
Essendon hope the verdict from the five-day CAS hearing in Sydney will be known by Christmas, but the timing remains unclear.
Even if the players are found guilty, those still playing in the AFL are only likely to receive suspensions that are heavily backdated.
While the Bombers still reel from the fallout from their disastrous 2011-12 supplements regime, Campbell said the club’s cash flow is strong.
“Importantly, we have a healthy cash profit through operations of nearly $2 million,” he said.
“The ongoing support of our members, commercial partners, stakeholders and an improved on-field performance in 2016 provides us with great optimism we can return to surplus in 2016.”