Essendon Chairman Lindsay Tanner is confident the Club will become a force again, despite the penalty handed to 34 past and present players.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport found the players, 12 of whom remain on the Essendon list, guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation.
“This is a very difficult day for Essendon Football Club, but the critical thing here is there will be better days,” Tanner said.
“And they will come more quickly and more powerfully than you expect.
“We’re going to have some tough times, but ultimately we will prevail.
“We will survive and we will succeed.”
The Club will be able to upgrade its existing rookie listed players and sign ten players from outside the AFL to cover the absence of the suspended players.
“Clearly we’ve got big challenges in front of us for the balance of this year,” Tanner said.
“But I have absolute confidence that John Worsfold, our staff, our management are up to that challenge and in particular I’ve got absolute confidence that our players are up to that challenge.
“It’s remarkable in these kinds of situations where people step up to the mark when the challenge is put to them.
“I have absolute confidence that the staff and the playing group of Essendon will do that.”
Despite the penalty handed to the players, more than 500 Bombers fans signed up with the Club on one of its most difficult days.
“The support, the unity, the commitment that has been displayed by the wider Essendon community over those three years has been extraordinary,” Tanner said.
“I think many other clubs would have fallen apart in disarray, in disunity – we haven’t done that.
“We made some serious mistakes in 2012, we are dealing with the consequences of that.
“It’s presenting us with some pretty extreme challenges – we are up for those challenges.
“Players rise to the opportunity when they’re given the chance - I have every expectation that will occur again.”