Those who haven't been paying attention will be unaware of the varying reasons for the Bulldogs sitting at the foot of the ladder for several years.
But the most attributable reason is the multitude of 'back-ended' contracts issued by former coach Des Hasler and approved by former members of the board.
Back-ending a contract was the practice whereby players were paid below market value in the first years of their contracts and then received an over-inflated amount in later years to manipulate the salary cap.
"There is a very small number of examples, albeit problematic ones, where clubs have got into trouble ... and that has hurt so there's a desire for us to get involved and ensure that doesn't happen again," said the NRL CEO (at the time) Todd Greenberg.
The number of back-ended contracts severely hampered the Bulldogs' ability to purchase new talent, and it also meant that they had to offload a significant number of quality players from the books between 2018-2020.
But since the start of 2023, the Bulldogs have managed to iron out the majority of their salary cap issues, with a reported '$7 million war chest' to play with. A number of high-profile signings have already joined, with more on the way in 2024.
And while 2023 was a season to forget on the back of an NRL-high number of injuries and a highly visible lack of cohesion.
Regardless of your opinion on Phil 'Gus' Gould, he has one of the most experienced and insightful minds in the game, as well as the influence and ability to attract big-name players to the club.
Competition at the Bulldogs:
Likely top 17 and contenders for each position:
1. Stephen Crichton
2. Josh Addo-Carr
3. Bronson Xerri
4. Jacob Kiraz
5. Blake Taaffe
6. Toby Sexton
7. Matt Burton
8. Max King
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Ryan Sutton
11. Jacob Preston
12. Viliame Kikau
13. Karl Oloapu