City are one of only 19 pro clubs in the UK that are not losing money, according to a leading industry analyst.

Joint-chairman Julian Rhodes has revealed that research from the Plimsoll group showed the Bantams were among the small minority of less than one in eight in the domestic game currently in the black.

He stressed that City’s careful financial approach must continue but does not believe it will stop them moving forward.

The board have sanctioned a £500,000 overspend on the estimated budget for next season – although that is down by the same amount on last year.

The sale of Nahki Wells in January covered that and safeguard measures will be in place to ensure the club avoiding running at a loss for next term.

Rhodes said: “Four of the last five years now we’ve posted a profit. The one we didn’t was 2010-11 when we were flirting with relegation out of the league.

“It’s not just important we carry on in that vein, we’re going to have to because we have no choice.

“The Plimsoll report is about how you perform in the business sector you’re in. There are 164 companies in our sector – that’s professional football clubs in the UK – and we’re one of only 19 who do not lose money.

“When you consider that there are 20 Premier League clubs, then it is a good achievement on our part.

“While we’ve managed to post profits, we’ve still been progressing in those years. We’ve gone from 18th in League Two to 11th in League One.

“We now expect to kick on and start knocking on the door of the Championship.

“This is what the whole plan has been when we were getting rid of the debts in those dark horrible days over the last 12 years.

“We wanted to get to this position where we can look forward and not behind us.”

Injuries and a long winless run forced Phil Parkinson to dip into the loan market midway through last season with an influx of short-term arrivals. But Rhodes felt the added expense was money well spent to halt a potentially worrying slip down League One.

“It would have been a disaster if we’d been relegated,” he added. “As it happens, we ended up 12 points clear and looking back thinking ‘what were we worried about?’ “But we did address things and Phil went to the loan market. It was something we really didn’t want to do but it was necessary.

“We’d won one game in 21 and had to do something. I thought the loanees all came in and did well.”