Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon remains hopeful the club will be able to avoid laying off staff despite forecasting huge revenue losses during the coronavirus crisis.
Gordon steered the Bulldogs out of financial trouble when the cash-strapped club faced extinction a little more than three decades ago.
He is now trying to do it again in vastly different circumstances.
But Gordon told SEN the "terrible" days when the Bulldogs were almost forced to merge with Fitzroy were "nothing compared to this" latest existential threat.
"What united us in those events, troubling events we've survived in our past, is we worked our way through it by working together, and we'll do that here," Gordon said.
Upon announcing the decision to shut down the competition for a minimum 10 weeks, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan declared the league and its clubs faced their biggest financial threat in the history of the game.
A massive scaling back of club operations could be necessary for them to survive.
"I hope there won't be layoffs," Gordon said.
"There are a whole range of issues or options that are on the table.
"There are questions of taking leave, questions of shortened hours, there are questions of the possibility of just standing the people (down) who literally won't have anything to do for the next few months.
"We want to work those things through.
"Our guiding principle is trying to work out if we can put the industry on pause for two months and manage the cash flow problem, which is significant here."
The Bulldogs opened the 2020 AFL season with a heavy defeat to Collingwood on Friday night before the competition was shut down.