- Jun 29, 2013
- AFL Club
- Western Bulldogs
The other woman decided not to go on with it, can't blame her. Someone, it might have been the other woman, suggested Irene. She agreed and the rest is history. It was in the Social Club. It was the night that the merger became public, the beer was free, the VFL paid for it, probably saw it as a wake.
Naturally I'm very grateful the club was saved. However IMO the VFL/AFL stuffed up the transition to a national comp. It tried to do it by stealth and by picking off the stragglers in a cowardly fashion. It underestimated the stragglers!!
It had booted South Melbourne up to Sydney and had started Adelaide and West Coast so by 1989 so it was a comp of 14 teams (with Brisbane starting in 1990) but it was still massively weighted to Victorian clubs and Victoria is still over-represented to this day.
Leaving aside club loyalties and traditions and taking a truly national perspective (yes, it's a highly debatable point) here is what it should have done:
Anyway that's all hypothetical now. We've been given our second (and third) chance and we're already vindicated with the 2016 flag. We're a well run club these days thanks to Smorgon and Gordon and we're not going away any time soon.
- No Vic club remains intact except Geelong and then only because they are outside Melbourne.
- The following mergers of Melbourne-based clubs take place, leaving 5 clubs + Geelong in Victoria:
- The benefit of having all Vic clubs merge is you lose hardly any of the local support as long as the mergers are done on an equitable basis. Pity the poor South Melbourne and Fitzroy supporters whose teams were cast into the wilderness. Some followed their interstate reincarnation (Sydney or Brisbane) and some switched to other Vic clubs but it was never the same for most of them.
- New clubs to be set up as follows
- WA (2) - West Coast +1 (Freo)
- SA (2) - Adelaide + 1 (Port)
- NSW (2) - Sydney + 1 (GWS)
- Qld (2) - Brisbane + 1 (Cairns/NQ)
- Tas (1) - Hobart or Tasmania
- ACT (1) - Canberra
- Total of 16 clubs - although there would be a case for making it only 14 by leaving out Canberra and Cairns. With 14 clubs you could run a true H&A comp of 26 rounds + finals. No unbalanced draws.
It would be a cold day in hell before I’d support a team connected to the drug cheats in anyway