The big 4 clubs and the AFL's future

cleomenes

Club Legend
Nov 18, 2010
1,443
1,946
Hobart
AFL Club
Collingwood
With Carlton, Collingwood. Essendon and Richmond entrenched in the bottom third of the ladder, there should be real concerns for the future of the code.
Carlton and Essendon are there because of penalties for cheating, and it could be argued that they deserve it. Collingwood and Richmond are there because of their own decisions to some extent. For the AFL, the concern has to be that these four teams carry the bulk of the rusted on supporters of the code, and their extended occupancy of the lower reaches must have severe effects on revenue and general support for football.
The expansion clubs are the problem, because they have little support, and what they have is ephemeral. OK when they are successful, but non existant when they are not.
The AFL has looked to recruiting as the solution. The draft was introduced to remedy the problems of power clubs having access to the best talent through their financial strength, minising the chances of success for the others. To expand, the draft was compromised for years to give the new clubs a chance. The former power clubs have been forced down by lack of talent when they chose, and smetimes poor or unlucky choices with what they did get.
Now, the draft is further compromised by acadamies and father son rules. Future trading of draft picks is fraught too. If there is going to be a draft, and it seems necessary to reduce the effects of wealth, then it should be exactly what teh simplest version would suggest. A selection based on reverse ladder position with rigorous prevention of cheating. No acadamies and no father son rules.
The other aspect of acadamies, that they bring in talented players that might not otherwise choose the code, needs an AFL controlled administration that brings on these players in non AFL states.

There are many problems here, and a clear program to solve tehm needs to be prepared. If it is not, then the collapse of the melbourne supporter base that carries the AFL can be expected. A Tasmanian team is an essential part of this, to regain the pathway that once drew most Tasmanian athletes to football. There is probably not a lot of time left for this.
 

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VineyIsLORD

Norm Smith Medallist
May 6, 2016
5,437
5,288
AFL Club
Melbourne
If anything, the fact that North, Melbourne, Geelong, Doggies, St Kilda and Hawthorn are the best teams from Victoria this season demonstrates that everything is going well.

All of those clubs have had severe financial difficulties over the last 20 years. Some have really thrived (Hawks, Geelong), some have become consistent finals performers (Dogs, St Kilda, North) and some are Melbourne (who put Mark Neeld in as head coach, forever curse his name).

But all of them have record membership, all have lists in decent shape, none are facing extreme financial stress (Melbourne, Dogs, Saints, Roos will always be smaller clubs - but you can't have 'big' clubs without small ones).
 

MisterMarcus

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 20, 2009
7,954
9,194
Pascoe Vale
AFL Club
Geelong
With Carlton, Collingwood. Essendon and Richmond entrenched in the bottom third of the ladder, there should be real concerns for the future of the code.
Carlton and Essendon are there because of penalties for cheating, and it could be argued that they deserve it. Collingwood and Richmond are there because of their own decisions to some extent. For the AFL, the concern has to be that these four teams carry the bulk of the rusted on supporters of the code, and their extended occupancy of the lower reaches must have severe effects on revenue and general support for football.
The expansion clubs are the problem, because they have little support, and what they have is ephemeral. OK when they are successful, but non existant when they are not.
The AFL has looked to recruiting as the solution. The draft was introduced to remedy the problems of power clubs having access to the best talent through their financial strength, minising the chances of success for the others. To expand, the draft was compromised for years to give the new clubs a chance. The former power clubs have been forced down by lack of talent when they chose, and smetimes poor or unlucky choices with what they did get.
Now, the draft is further compromised by acadamies and father son rules. Future trading of draft picks is fraught too. If there is going to be a draft, and it seems necessary to reduce the effects of wealth, then it should be exactly what teh simplest version would suggest. A selection based on reverse ladder position with rigorous prevention of cheating. No acadamies and no father son rules.
The other aspect of acadamies, that they bring in talented players that might not otherwise choose the code, needs an AFL controlled administration that brings on these players in non AFL states.

There are many problems here, and a clear program to solve tehm needs to be prepared. If it is not, then the collapse of the melbourne supporter base that carries the AFL can be expected. A Tasmanian team is an essential part of this, to regain the pathway that once drew most Tasmanian athletes to football. There is probably not a lot of time left for this.
OK Eddie :thumbsu:
 

Garlic muncher

Cancelled
Feb 3, 2016
4,482
3,008
AFL Club
Collingwood
The big 4 at the bottom yet crowds up 4% or something.

How is that happening ?.

Doesn't look like it now but i expect Collingwood to make some sort of run at the 8, either that or Buckley has to go.
 

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MarkT2

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 3, 2009
9,760
3,816
Melb
AFL Club
Collingwood
Big 4 is an out dated term. Adelaide and WCE are as big and possibly Hawthorn as well although their "supporter power" won't be fully realised until the current kids are older. In general terms though, TV and attendance numbers would be higher if better supported clubs were performing better. The ALF would no doubt like them performing better on field but they don't want them winning flags. The AFL will still make plenty enough with or without the old big 4 up the ladder and they meanwhile hope there's generally 2 up and 2 down at any given time. What the AFL really want is the new clubs to win flags interspersed with a few St Kilda/North/Dogs flags.
 

Ti22

All Australian
Aug 22, 2015
972
534
AFL Club
Carlton
Collingwood have the players to turn it around quickly, just a lot of injuries at the moment they are still a big club. Essendon and the cult seem to have learnt their lessons, their core group of players can push them back next year when they have returned from suspension. Richmond have a good solid core with the addition of Yarran in a few weeks watch them challenge for finals they can turn it around very quickly. Carlton are the only one with a weak list but the addition of Weitering, C. Curnow, Cuningham etc we seem to have learnt from the past and about time. It will take us a while 4 years at least we still have some cloggers who will be dumped or traded end of the year. But it will take us a while to get back, you can't build Geelongs, Hawks of the world after 1 year. But as a Blues fan I am excited about our new coach and the team, we are on the right path and all Blues fans and supporters should enjoy the ride and it has been a positive start to the 66 game journey.

Sent from India
 

Run n Spread

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 2, 2013
7,532
5,190
AFL Club
Collingwood
From a Collingwood pov. 4/10 GFs. 7/11 PFs. Finals 10/12 years. Bound to have a few lean years at some point. Will bounce back. What is concerning thou is fixing the house up before the rot of mediocrity sets in.
 

FallingLiefs

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 30, 2013
11,491
12,396
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Isn't it funny. 4 years ago this thread was about Melbourne, Port Adeliade and the Bulldogs struggling to rebuild when GWS and GC were hogging picks. Yet, Bulldogs find Stringer, Macrae Melbourne: Hogan and Port: wingard and Wines heavily due to GWS/GC and/or in heavily weakened draft pools. Not to mention off-cuts such as Tyson and Hombsch.

No, not funny OP? Well I'm laughing anyway.
 

carnthedons

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 12, 2006
8,321
12,501
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
I think the AFL would actually prefer this as those clubs can still survive without stellar on field performances. The competition to my mind does better financially if Essendon are rubbish and North are flying than vice versa and we know it's about the alighty ollar
 

carnthedons

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 12, 2006
8,321
12,501
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
With 4 Victorian teams, North, Geelong, Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn, as well as 4 interstate teams, Sydney, GWS, Adelaide and WCE, making up the current 8, should there be celebration that the code is healthy and thriving?
2 regioinal victorian teams, 2 tasmanian teams and 4 others i think you mean
 
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