Canberra Raiders boss Don Furner concedes the club needs to consider different revenue models after recording a loss of $5.4 million in 2015.
But the club won't be putting up a For Sale sign at its Bruce headquarters, with Furner saying the loss wasn't alarming - attributing more than half the amount to growing the game in the Canberra region.
Furner said the Raiders' NRL program lost about $2.5 million, with the rest of the deficit comprising of funding for running junior competitions and player development.
The Raiders are one of the only clubs who foot the bill for running grass roots rugby league, absorbing all costs of junior and senior competitions into their budget.
Other statewide junior and senior associations are governed and funded by state branches of the ARL.
The Raiders have been reliant on the financial support of the group's licenced clubs in the region to subsidise football operation losses.
"It's not alarming, I think it shows how much we invest in promoting rugby league in this region," Furner said. "It's a true figure in what it costs us to be all things to everybody.
"We need to look at models and how rugby league is funded in the future. That [$5.4 million] figure is consistent with what it has been for a number of years."
Furner has been a long time advocate of NRL development grants, pushing for subsidies and salary cap concessions for clubs who demonstrate strong grass roots and development programs. He believes the Raiders spend more on grass roots development than most NRL clubs.
"We need to look at different models, difference revenue streams, we need to look at diversifying - which we do," Furner said.
"We might diversify into commercial development in Braddon, we might diversify in the clubs in Queensland, but the reality down the track is the one group can't afford to do everything, and we've been doing that for 34 years.
"The cost of running an NRL team continues to go up, and we are running the grass roots of the sport, and it's a huge footprint that we have to do that in - it's not just a few suburbs in Sydney - and that's everything from coach education to ground fees to running competitions locally.
"Without a doubt, if the licenced club industry continues under the pressures they are facing, we might have to look at our funding, but can we cover the costs right now, yes, that's what our clubs are there for."
Furner said a merge with the Country Rugby League or NSW Rugby League could cut costs, as would the likely end of the under 20s competition this year. He also anticipated an increase in NRL grants in 2018 from the new broadcast deal.
"We will see what happens with the 20s, if you stripped everything back and said our group would just fund the Canberra Raiders, there's millions of dollars stripped out of our costs.
"I don't think a lot of people understand how much it costs to run. We'll look to see what happens in 2018 - our grants will almost double through the broadcast deal which will be good.
"Maybe down the track we get consumed by NSWRL or CRL and they put the development officers on and pay the ground insurances."