Merge documentary

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John_Proctor

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Just watched it. 36 years old and still cried at the footage of the Richmond and freo games and the day of the deal. Remember watching that unfold with my family flicking between tv channels to get ‘news updates’ in ad breaks and then Gordon’s infamous footy show appearance to cap off a tough night.

The thing that always stood out for me about Brisbane was what Murray (and oakley 🤨) highlighted - the name, the colours, the song, the players (including lynch!). We wouldn’t have had ANY of that with North Melbourne.

Just want to give Alan McConnell a hug. So many people put so much into Fitzroy, a lot of people including McConnell got rewarded after the fact (long time afl/ais academy coach and now at GWS in AFLW), which is nice in its own way.

Would have preferred with our playing list from (say) 1991 that they’d stayed together and got rewards at Fitzroy but that was not an option. Financial reality is a thing in football as much as any other business.

The thing that annoys me about Oakley and the AFL is not that they ‘pushed us to a merger in 1996’ as by then we were cooked and there was no choice. It’s that they obstructed any effort made prior to 1996 for the club to stand on its own feet. Eg. The club getting ‘innovative’ sponsorships with Schweppes and Galaxy (an early Foxtel equivalent) that we’re deemed contrary to overall AFL deals and banned by the league.

Good to see some bears perspective, easy to forget down here that team was on the rise without us. (I went to the 1995 final against carlton at this mcg with a mate - push them closer than anyone that September)

For anyone who wants another candid take on Fitzroy at the time and Nathan Buckley’s year in Brisbane then listen to the Fitzroy (Robert Shaw) and Brisbane (Robert walls) episodes of ‘the year that was 1993’ podcast. (Greg Miller also guest on north melbourne episode which covers some of the merger and Buckley stories and Ross oakley was interviewed as well talking in more depth about the leagues own financial issues at the time).

Honestly the Fitzroy episode is must listen for any sports fan imo.


Thanks lions insider. Go Lions.


Tbh it now annoys me that we always play in the Fitzroy red in Melbourne. We won our three flags in maroon, blue and gold And that is our combined jumper in my book. occasional use of an actual Fitzroy jumper for heritage would be great (looked great against carlton).
 

Roylion

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Oct 17, 2000
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The thing that always stood out for me about Brisbane was what Murray (and oakley 🤨) highlighted - the name, the colours, the song, the players (including lynch!). We wouldn’t have had ANY of that with North Melbourne.
In a nutshell, the deal with North Melbourne was:
  • Name: "North Fitzroy Kangaroos" (I myself would have preferred the "North Melbourne-Fitzroy Lions" trading as the "North Melbourne Lions")
  • a new jumper which substantially incorporated the present colours of FFC [red, royal blue and gold] and NMC [royal blue and white] (in approximately equal proportions) in a style which is appropriate to the 1990's which will create an effective merchandising presence. (jumper guaranteed for 20 years)
  • The jumper will have a small gold Fitzroy lion on the left breast. (guaranteed for 20 years)
  • AFL incentive package was 50 players from the North and Fitzroy lists (although the other clubs conspired to reduce this to 44)
 

Daniels Riches

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Oct 16, 2011
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Just watched it. 36 years old and still cried at the footage of the Richmond and freo games and the day of the deal. Remember watching that unfold with my family flicking between tv channels to get ‘news updates’ in ad breaks and then Gordon’s infamous footy show appearance to cap off a tough night.

The thing that always stood out for me about Brisbane was what Murray (and oakley 🤨) highlighted - the name, the colours, the song, the players (including lynch!). We wouldn’t have had ANY of that with North Melbourne.

Just want to give Alan McConnell a hug. So many people put so much into Fitzroy, a lot of people including McConnell got rewarded after the fact (long time afl/ais academy coach and now at GWS in AFLW), which is nice in its own way.

Would have preferred with our playing list from (say) 1991 that they’d stayed together and got rewards at Fitzroy but that was not an option. Financial reality is a thing in football as much as any other business.

The thing that annoys me about Oakley and the AFL is not that they ‘pushed us to a merger in 1996’ as by then we were cooked and there was no choice. It’s that they obstructed any effort made prior to 1996 for the club to stand on its own feet. Eg. The club getting ‘innovative’ sponsorships with Schweppes and Galaxy (an early Foxtel equivalent) that we’re deemed contrary to overall AFL deals and banned by the league.

Good to see some bears perspective, easy to forget down here that team was on the rise without us. (I went to the 1995 final against carlton at this mcg with a mate - push them closer than anyone that September)

For anyone who wants another candid take on Fitzroy at the time and Nathan Buckley’s year in Brisbane then listen to the Fitzroy (Robert Shaw) and Brisbane (Robert walls) episodes of ‘the year that was 1993’ podcast. (Greg Miller also guest on north melbourne episode which covers some of the merger and Buckley stories and Ross oakley was interviewed as well talking in more depth about the leagues own financial issues at the time).

Honestly the Fitzroy episode is must listen for any sports fan imo.


Thanks lions insider. Go Lions.


Tbh it now annoys me that we always play in the Fitzroy red in Melbourne. We won our three flags in maroon, blue and gold And that is our combined jumper in my book. occasional use of an actual Fitzroy jumper for heritage would be great (looked great against carlton).
Great comment mate. Agree with everything you said apart from the Lions playing in the Fitzroy red in Melbourne. I think it’s a special touch for the old Roy fans in Melbourne and I love seeing them play in the jumper. Thanks for the pod link, I’ll be sure to have a listen later tonight


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 

luthor

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Great viewing.

I know the history of the Bears but it was interesting to hear Walls and Ireland's recounting the early days from their personal perspectives. Also, I'd forgotten just what a totally self interested raping that the North "merge" offer was

The gut wrenching last two Fitzroy games had me close to tears, even though I have no connection to "old" Fitzroy" myself.

Noel Gordon's Footy Show appearance was a total train wreck. What on earth could he have been thinking? It's a wonder any Fitzroy supporters at all came on board after that total act of buffoonery.

I have no issue with the burnt orange jumpers for our Melbourne game, Personally, I think they look great. I would however prefer we revert to the maroon, blue and gold with white shorts for our next GF, like we wore in our threepeats.
 
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John_Proctor

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Apr 17, 2009
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In a nutshell, the deal with North Melbourne was:
  • Name: "North Fitzroy Kangaroos" (I myself would have preferred the "North Melbourne-Fitzroy Lions" trading as the "North Melbourne Lions")
  • a new jumper which substantially incorporated the present colours of FFC [red, royal blue and gold] and NMC [royal blue and white] (in approximately equal proportions) in a style which is appropriate to the 1990's which will create an effective merchandising presence. (jumper guaranteed for 20 years)
  • The jumper will have a small gold Fitzroy lion on the left breast. (guaranteed for 20 years)
  • AFL incentive package was 50 players from the North and Fitzroy lists (although the other clubs conspired to reduce this to 44)

Aware of all that.

Name:
being shortened to kangaroos (or north) <<<<< than being the lions

Jumper:
Jumper that had much stronger hints of north vertical stripes and light blue/white <<<<<< than big bold Fitzroy lion, maroon and blue.

Players:
overall minimal difference in opportunity probably.

Having to like established players you’d grown up disliking like Wayne Carey/mick Martin/John Longmire <<<< having to like young up and coming players who’d been off broadway like boss/Leppitsch/Ackermanis/lappin

Admittedly Armstrong/Blakey=Lynch. (And noting north recruited pike, Mellington, chandler)
 

Roylion

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Oct 17, 2000
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Aware of all that.

Name:
being shortened to kangaroos (or north) <<<<< than being the lions
"North Fitzroy." Could have been colloquially known as the 'Roys". That certainly what I would have called them. Others might have called them the "Roos".

Jumper:
Jumper that had much stronger hints of north vertical stripes and light blue/white <<<<<< than big bold Fitzroy lion, maroon and blue.
We don't know if the jumper would have included North's vertical royal blue and white stripes. It may have been maroon, royal blue with a white NMFC monogram for all we know in something not far removed from Fitzroy's original jumper. There would have been six Fitzroy directors and six North directors on the new board, so Fitzroy would have had a significant say in the new jumper.

748067


Except it would be a white "NFFC" logo, something like below. Hopefully slightly less complicated.

748064




Players:eek:verall minimal difference in opportunity probably.
More Fitzroy players, possibly up to 13-14 of them instead of eight.

Having to like established players you’d grown up disliking like Wayne Carey/mick Martin/John Longmire
I'm sure if any of the above had come across to Fitzroy you'd get to liking them fairly quickly

Plus 16-17 games in Melbourne instead of six.
 
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Lion for Life

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"North Fitzroy." Could have been colloquially known as the 'Roys". That certainly what I would have called them. Others might have called them the "Roos".



We don't know if the jumper would have been North stripes. It may have been maroon, royal blue with a white NMFC monogram for all we know in something not far removed from Fitzroy's original jumper.

View attachment 748067

Except it would be a white "NFFC" logo, something like below. Hopefully slightly less complicated.

View attachment 748064





More Fitzroy players, possibly up to 13-14 of them instead of eight.



I'm sure if any of the above had come across to Fitzroy you'd get to liking them fairly quickly

Plus 16-17 games in Melbourne instead of six.

All good except it didn’t happen and we got the Lions instead, I would have supported the merged club of Fitzroy and North but still would have felt raped and never comfortable with my club being the Kangaroos.

In the end, while it’s been a rough ride at times in particular during the Angus Johnson years, I feel at home with the Brisbane Lions, it feels to me the natural successor to the Roys in the AFL and I will always appreciate the fact that the Lion still remains alive in some form both on our jumper and in name as it should be
 

Roylion

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Oct 17, 2000
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All good except it didn’t happen and we got the Lions instead,
I understand that. I myself have been a member since 1997.

I'm merely replying to comments that the North offer was one-sided. The Fitzroy board of directors and the shareholders much preferred the North option to that of the Bears. North did shoot themselves in the foot during the process though and probably cost themselves the opportunity to merge. To be fair though that was with the encouragement and connivance of the AFL whose underhandedness and manipulation of the process can't be underestimated. The AFL encouraging North to not release merger monies to pay Nauru (forcing them to appoint an administrator to recover their debt) was an example.
 
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davemc_lions

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Aug 21, 2013
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Depends on the supporter
I did not want the North merge to happen. As I looked at it as a take over not a merge.
Mates did not want the team to move to Brissy.
Made it easier for me as the Bears where my adopted second team.. Walls, Lynch etc.

AFL tried their hardest to kill a Vic team. Went out of there way to kill us. Now they throw millions at them
Where honestly there should be a team in Tassie.
 

MSB ROYS

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Apr 23, 2001
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It was not easy reliving those last few games, even though I was in Brisbane attending Bears games already by this time.

The main thing that re-enforced to me was that we MUST have 6 or more games in Melbourne EACH year. Not Ballarat or Launceston, which seems like every year now. This should be non-negotiable! Otherwise it's "Up Yours Gill" sticker time.
 

dlanod

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The thing that annoys me about Oakley and the AFL is not that they ‘pushed us to a merger in 1996’ as by then we were cooked and there was no choice. It’s that they obstructed any effort made prior to 1996 for the club to stand on its own feet. Eg. The club getting ‘innovative’ sponsorships with Schweppes and Galaxy (an early Foxtel equivalent) that we’re deemed contrary to overall AFL deals and banned by the league.
God he talked himself up too. Wanted to take credit for everything.
 

Roylion

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I can't believe he was still sulking to this day.

Someone else comes in and offers more money for less - "Nah we'll sit on our bid. What, you prefer the other one??????"
North were confident they had AFL commission support for the concessions. After all they had been set by the AFL and Melbourne and Hawthorn took their merger deal to their members with the same concessions (50 players etc.). North did reduce their offer to the same level as the Brisbane offer, but the AFL commission preference was Brisbane and the AFL manipulated the circumstances to get what they wanted using North Melbourne as the patsy. It was the AFL advising North Melbourne how they could maximise their chances of merger and keeping much of their identity intact while working behind the scenes against it. Many clubs voted the way the AFL wanted them to vote. Interesting also that the AFL later paid compensation to North Melbourne for the time, money and effort they'd put into their failed merger deal.
 

drapes11

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Mar 31, 2010
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At the end of the day the past needs to be acknowledged. However it was the precedent that gave us the greatest team in modern history. The Merged club should be embraced and celebrated.

Thanks to the club for documenting the events, it was insightful. As a bears supporter it was great to see as we were on the cusp of success just prior to the merger.

However, It is now time to move on and celebrate the Brisbane lions success and look forward to what the boys can do in 2020. Go lions
 

adey115

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Fitzroy side of the family.
I watch the doco a couple of nights ago, with a mixture of sadness, anger and pride.

Cudos to the club for creating the documentary. To a certain extent, damned if you do by some, damned if you don't by some.
I'm a person from the Fitzroy side of the family, who is more than comfortable with the merger being with Brisbane rather than a Melbourne based club. I truly enjoyed watching the Bears as they developed, couldn't face barracking with a Melbourne-based team who we had an old rivalry with. It was the right result for me.

What I took away from it.....
The sadness. That last year was just horrendous. I truly don't think other supporters could know what it was like. Funnily enough, for those Richmond supporters attending the last game, they got to see the sadness in person, and I think that is when it dawned on non-Fitzroy people as to how difficult and sad this was. I saw Richmond people on that day taking in the magnitude of what they were seeing in front of them. For us, it felt like death. It was a funeral, where the person was still alive and you were watching them die.

The doco gave me more of an understanding of the Bears perspective as well. Important.

The anger. The lack of dignity provided by Oakley and the AFL. He needed to be interviewed for the doco, but his smugness was there for all to see. He never really got it. The end of Fitzroy was likely, and yet what he and his cronies never supplied, or even help supply, was dignity during those last times. Up Yours Oakley is still a valid sentiment today as it was then.

Noel Gordon certainly did the club no favours that day. I genuinely think it cost 5,000 likely members or supporters, in one drunken fell swoop. His performance that day was such a strategic error. It was a day and time that required dignity, thought and care. A fail. Including it in the doco was brave, and important. It would be wrong not to include it though. Well done Lions.

How good are Alan McConnell, Andrew Ireland, Wallsy and Browny as football "people". They came across so well in the doco. You can only do that if its genuine. It was. Full marks to all of them. Varied contributions to our club in its various forms, some short term some long term. Thank you to them - and thanks for being a part of the doco, as your words were important.

The pride. I genuinely think that apart from a handful of years of discontent, the club has done a sterling job of looking after us all (no matter where you came from in your journey to being a Brisbane Lions supporter). Winning premierships helps of course, but looking back over those years, it makes the awful years around the Paddlepop era just stand out like dogs proverbials..... There is no other club like us in the league. There likely never will be another one like us. Because of that fact, we need to have our own special culture. And I think we've done a pretty good job of delivering that.

Finally. If you could bottle up the spirit of Kevin Murray and where he now fits in to our club, and inject it in to every player - we'd never lose a game. I know its likely difficult for those of the Brisbane side of the family because he only played for the Fitzroy side of the family, but his spirit and love for the merged club has no peer. We should all take it in, and carry it with us.
 

MacMum

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I know its likely difficult for those of the Brisbane side of the family because he only played for the Fitzroy side of the family, but his spirit and love for the merged club has no peer. We should all take it in, and carry it with us.

No....we Bears got to know and love him just like you do. His love of our merged Lions helped make us one true club again.

I and I'm sure others too, smile whenever I see him and his beloved Brownlow medal. He is indeed worth bottling!:)
 

dlanod

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The sadness. That last year was just horrendous. I truly don't think other supporters could know what it was like. Funnily enough, for those Richmond supporters attending the last game, they got to see the sadness in person, and I think that is when it dawned on non-Fitzroy people as to how difficult and sad this was. I saw Richmond people on that day taking in the magnitude of what they were seeing in front of them. For us, it felt like death. It was a funeral, where the person was still alive and you were watching them die.
I only came to AFL a few years after the merger and watching that footage of the last year... I was almost in tears despite having no Fitzroy link, thinking how brutal it would be to lose the Lions now.
 

WhiteLionFeva

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I only came to AFL a few years after the merger and watching that footage of the last year... I was almost in tears despite having no Fitzroy link, thinking how brutal it would be to lose the Lions now.
The word surreal is over-used and often inappropriately, but it seems a fair description of how I felt on the train home after that match, knowing that it would be the last time I would see my team play. It felt more final than the last round against Freo, not just because that game was played in the West but because, as someone else has written, by then the funeral and wake were over and the realisation, if not the acceptance, had well and truly set in.
 

luthor

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North really took the piss didn’t they.
They just didn't read the tea leaves.

Thought they were home and hosed and then failed to react when it became obvious that the Bears were going to trump them.

It was 1996 and they were in full bloom with their Carey led super team.

Arrogance has its price.
 

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