Those who have following this site for awhile will know that we don’t limit ourselves to just SuperCoach related discussion. On occasion, we explore some of the deeper issues in footy. This post was put together by one of our readers who wants to remain anonymous (although some of our longtime readers will know who he is – please respect his desire for anonymity in Comments). His point of view does have the potential to inflame passions so I ask that if you do have an opinion to please stick to rational arguments as opposed to expletive filled, emotion-based ones.
Let’s put this Melbourne issue into perspective.
If it wasn’t for the comittment of one of the greats of the game during his twilight years of terminal illness, the club would have folded.
Hawthorn experienced a potentially similar fate until a benefactor in the form of a previously highly successful Premier of the State bailed them out single handedly with his contacts. Their sustainability appears bright in the short to medium term as they have strong on and off field investment strategies.
North Melbourne. What can you say? Bailed out by a pair of Western Australian brothers whose expertise rises to short term media and low grade business experience. After enduring the Ansett autocracy ( albeit with great on field success) surely the few Kanga members left deserved the opportunity to feel democratically party to the new regime.
Western Bulldogs. As much as I am an online mate with PA, I can’t help but feel sorry for him and all other Bulldogs members. 60 years is a long time to wait for a real chance at a Premiership. My take here is that the Smorgon era was once again far too insular when considering alternatives.
Saint Kilda. What is going to happen here once Joey, Dal, Lenny and Saint Nick give it away in the next couple of years? FURL was certainly not looking at the club’s sustainability and they are surely gonski off field when there is no sign of success in the mid/long term.
What is the motivation for this post?
I have a cousin playing for Melbourne. I have a son that has a chance of being drafted in the near future.
These young boys who yes, have an undeniably great opportunity to earn a living doing what most of you only dream about, also deserve to know that the system they are investing their most important years into is professionally, financially and ethically without question.
My issue here therefore is with the AFL’s equalization policy. It is becoming clearer every game week that an expansion program into Sydney and Brisbane whilst maintaining the level of Victorian clubs is clearly unsustainable.
The competition needs to expand nationally to continue to be financially sustainable therefore their needs to be a rationalisation of the Melbourne clubs. I’m sure this will cut deep with the members and fans of those unsustainable clubs however as has occurred over the past twenty years, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To add weight to my assertion please consider these two facts.
1. Since South Melbourne were sent to Sydney, they have won two premierships and have rarely not been in contention post the Willesee/Edelstein era;
2. Similarly, once Brisbane overcame the Skase era the Fitzroy faithfull jumped back on and to this day have embraced the club with the three- peat in the early noughties.
Lets look at the stats. Since the inception of the AFL, premierships have been won by 11 Melbourne teams (including all of the first
six) and 13 non Melbourne teams. Therefore, in other words, Melbourne teams have only won 7 premierships in the past 21 years although they are represented by the majority of the competition.
Finally, as I say to my staff, I want to hear solutions not problems!
The AFL should have representation from Melbourne teams that are sustainable such as Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn and then rationisation should include the following:
1. North to Tasmania
2. Bulldogs to Darwin
3. Melbourne to amalgamate with Hawthorn
4. Saints to continue as they have demonstrated a sound business model and are an icon of Melbourne culture.
This analysis is not intended to engender club or State bias. My intent has been described previously and I would therefore encourage constructive assessment and analysis of this position.
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