VIC fans - merge, relocate or relegate?

Which is the least worst option?

  • Merge with another Vic club

    Votes: 22 17.3%
  • Relocate interstate

    Votes: 65 51.2%
  • Drop down to the VFL

    Votes: 40 31.5%

  • Total voters
    127

Remove this Banner Ad

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
5,417
5,941
Preston
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Hawthorn, Manningham Cobras
First two options can get effed. Ask Fitzroy fans how they feel about them.

At least in the VFL my club would maintain its core identity.
I reckon if one AFL club moved to the VFL, then a number would follow. I can very easily picture a scenario where the VFL get's revitalised with AFL clubs joining the comp.

I've gone through the merger thing - it was awful. I voted no in 1996.
 

PJays

All Australian
Nov 2, 2020
669
749
AFL Club
St Kilda
Tasmania would have more fans than the 3 bottom supported Melbourne clubs.
How long would it take them to get there, do you think?

It would depend on a number of factors, not least on how successful they are.

But I'm thinking a minimum 5 years. And that's a best case scenario.

And there's no guarantee they'd ever get there at all.
 

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
14,545
11,139
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy Football Club
Well according to you, playing in 5 premiership teams made him an honest and reliable character.
The point was that he was intimiately involved in the Melbourne football Club, as a former Hall of Fame player, a coach and chairman at the time of the merger and obviously knows the workings of the club inside and out from all perspectives. Why isn't he a reliable source of information about the merger?

I certainly wouldn't trust such an abusive and reviled individual.
Reviled by who?
 

Log in to remove this ad.

Carringbush2010

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 6, 2016
10,447
6,543
Perth
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Pines Football Club
Just a question Johnny Bananas , IF a vic club was to be relegated, which league? Or does that not matter?

These are the stand alone or affiliation clubs in the 2nd tier comp the VFL.

-Frankston
-Werribee
-Port
-Sandringham
-Williamstown
-Coburg

The 2nds AFL teams in the same comp

-Box Hill = Hawthorn
-Casey = Melbourne
-Collingwood
-Essendon
-Footscray = Western Bulldogs
-Geelong
-North Melbourne
-Richmond

So at least 8 vic clubs are already in the VFL
 

Rob

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 8, 2000
29,306
16,124
South of the river
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Peel Thunder
How long would it take them to get there, do you think?

It would depend on a number of factors, not least on how successful they are.

But I'm thinking a minimum 5 years. And that's a best case scenario.

And there's no guarantee they'd ever get there at all.
It's all obviously hypothetical, but it rests pretty much solely about how well the new club can attract Tasmanians. If they can get the vast majority of Tasmanian footy fans on board, then it would probably have more fans than a few Melbourne clubs. If not - and there's plenty of evidence on bigfooty of Tasmanians stating that they would maintain their existing allegiances - then it will be a long hard road that could take at least a generation, if ever.
 

Prince Imperial

Club Legend
Apr 9, 2003
1,382
993
The Drill Hall
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
How long would it take them to get there, do you think?

It would depend on a number of factors, not least on how successful they are.

But I'm thinking a minimum 5 years. And that's a best case scenario.

And there's no guarantee they'd ever get there at all.
The Gemba report (that their Tasmanian bid case relies heavily on) indicates that a Tasmanian team would attract an average home crowd of 18k. Obviously a fair chunk of that will be fans travelling from interstate and Tasmanians who still follow interstate (largely Victorian) teams.

I think it's dubious they would end up with significantly more fans than the smaller Melbourne clubs.
 

nick1408

Club Legend
Dec 12, 2010
1,584
1,549
Why?
AFL Club
Richmond
The Gemba report (that their Tasmanian bid case relies heavily on) indicates that a Tasmanian team would attract an average home crowd of 18k. Obviously a fair chunk of that will be fans travelling from interstate and Tasmanians who still follow interstate (largely Victorian) teams.

I think it's dubious they would end up with significantly more fans than the smaller Melbourne clubs.

I had a look at the above article and I don't see where it says the 18,400 average attendance would have a fair chunk of people coming from interstate. It does indicate that there are approximately 90,000 linked to current AFL teams so it is feasible that there will be good support for travelling teams from within Tasmania but also the home crowd I think will still make up the bulk of the crowd.

Page 53 states:
Without an upgrade, Blundstone Arena’s existing capacity (approx. 13,000 seats and general admission area of circa 6,000 standing room) would be financially impactful on the club and possibly the Tasmanian economy given the level of reserved seating required to service the club’s anticipated membership. This in turn would leave minimal access opportunities for a travelling supporter of mainland clubs, in turn impeding that economic benefit.
This leads me to think that the seats for travelling fans will actually be at a premium (similar to Kardinia Park) and it'll be locals mostly at the ground (unless Macquarie Point is built).
 

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
15,751
11,768
Muckertal
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Turtles, NYJets, Celtics, Tottenham
Why are you so certain that the "pro-merger" vote would "not have held up to a court challenge"?

Ian Ridley argued that

"No member who sought to enter and vote than night was turned away. No one who was willing to wait was shut out and prevented from voting. Many supporters were turned away because they were not members."

The Dallas Brooks Hall final voting figures were:
- 1,455 opposed the merger
- 497 supported the merger.

Would this have held up to a court challenge? Would it have been challenged at all?

Proxy votes for the Melbourne Hawks numbered 7,000 of which roughly 4,000 voted yes to the merger and 3,000 voted no to the merger.

Would this have held up to a court challenge? On what grounds?

Michael Perry from Arthur Anderson was the returning officer for the merger vote. He discounted 200 yes proxy votes which turned up the day after the close of voting and were hence discarded.

As I said the Demon Alternative and other anti-merger groups who were advertising in the papers for members to vote no. Joseph Gutnick and his family joined the Melbourne Football Club as members for the first time to vote no and run for president. The total numbers of members who signed up for the first time or renewed their memberships, specifically to vote for or aganst between the announcement of the merger proposal and the vote was about 800. There is no doubt some woud have joined purely to vote 'no'.

So on what grounds woud the vote have not held up to a court challenge? Non-member supporters who turned up to the Dallas Brooks Hall were simply not entitled to vote.
I own Ian Ridley's book, it is obviously heavily slanted towards justifying what his Administration put the club through (rightly or wrongly).

The memberships that were bought up by either sponsors or board members (can't recall which now but I'm fairly sure Bill Guest was a main culprit) in the names of the staff employed by their businesses and then used as proxy votes to vote pro-merger is one ground the Demon Alternative would have used to challenge the vote. Another is the number of members who were locked out of voting on the night which considering the overwhelming support or the "no" vote would reasonably be determined to be overwhelmingly for "no merger".

Advertising in newspapers for members to vote no is different to manipulating the vote by essentially buying false memberships to vote no. Even Melbourne supporters who joined as members to vote no is completely different to manipulating the vote in that way.

As an aside these days there is a cutoff date for members to join (31st July from memory) which I assume wasn't around back then if these memberships were being taken out in late-August/September - does anyone know of the cutoff rules for memberships back then?
 

Prince Imperial

Club Legend
Apr 9, 2003
1,382
993
The Drill Hall
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs

I had a look at the above article and I don't see where it says the 18,400 average attendance would have a fair chunk of people coming from interstate. It does indicate that there are approximately 90,000 linked to current AFL teams so it is feasible that there will be good support for travelling teams from within Tasmania but also the home crowd I think will still make up the bulk of the crowd.

Page 53 states:

This leads me to think that the seats for travelling fans will actually be at a premium (similar to Kardinia Park) and it'll be locals mostly at the ground (unless Macquarie Point is built).
I accept the large majority will be Tasmanians but the report does state that 11 home games will result in a direct tourism expenditure of $72m and 250 permanent tourism-based jobs for the state, so they must be expecting a decent number of interstate tourists coming to attend matches to come to that conclusion.

Whilst the capacity of Bellerieve may be constrained by its poor location, higher drawing, "blockbuster" matches are recommended to take place at a larger revamped York Park (with a 27.5k capacity) which should encourage a fair number of Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond, Carlton fans from Victoria to attend.
 
Last edited:

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
14,545
11,139
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy Football Club
I own Ian Ridley's book,
As do I.

it is obviously heavily slanted towards justifying what his Administration put the club through (rightly or wrongly).
As you'd expect.

The memberships that were bought up by either sponsors or board members (can't recall which now but I'm fairly sure Bill Guest was a main culprit) in the names of the staff employed by their businesses and then used as proxy votes to vote pro-merger is one ground the Demon Alternative would have used to challenge the vote.
But on what legal grounds? Were they illegal members if they paid their money and joined before the cut off date? Bill Guest's actions may not have been strictly ethical, but were any laws actually broken And if so what were they? Jopsph Gutnick and his entire family joined Melbourne for the first time to vote no. Is this essentially different?

Another is the number of members who were locked out of voting on the night which considering the overwhelming support or the "no" vote would reasonably be determined to be overwhelmingly for "no merger".
How many members eligible to vote were locked out on that night? Ian Ridley claims that not one member who was eligible to vote on that night was locked out.

Advertising in newspapers for members to vote no is different to manipulating the vote by essentially buying false memberships to vote no.
They were advertising in papers for people to join up as members in order to vote no.
 

Cubs2Lions

Debutant
Jan 12, 2021
127
116
Adelaide
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
South Adelaide
Just my honest opinion so please don't crucify me on here :sweatsmile:

Given I am a AFL supporter from outside Victoria, it would only be logical to say I believe that there needs to less teams in the Melbourne region for the competition to be more fairer, performance & financial wise in the next 50-60 years to become the Number 1 sporting code in Australia, as the bigger clubs in Victoria (Collingwood, Richmond, Essendon) will only get bigger and the smaller clubs (North Melbourne, St. Kilda) will only stagnate or become smaller over the course of time.

Despite many VIC based supporters would argue against that logic, the sad reality is if the competition wants to grow truly nationally and become that national competition they imagined in the 1980s/1990s, there needs to be either mergers or relocations of Victorian teams despite the fact I know it will cause many anguish and tears between the supporters of those clubs being affected.

In 50 years time from now IMO, I think the perfect number of clubs in the Melbourne region would be 6 + Geelong = 7 teams in the state of Victoria within a 22 team national competition with North Melbourne, St. Kilda & Western Bulldogs all having to merge or relocate in this future league as they are the three smallest Victoria clubs so far in this league today for long-term growth financial wise.

Tasmania and Canberra can have there own stand-alone team then, a 3rd SA & WA team can enter then before North Sydney, North Queensland & Darwin having the relocated teams from Victoria to help boost their identify for supporters in Victoria and over in there state, with the revamped competition looking something like this in the future:

Adelaide Crows (South Australia)
Brisbane Lions (Queensland)
Canberra Spartans (Australian Capital Territory)
Carlton Blues (Victoria)
Collingwood Magpies (Victoria)
Darwin Saints (Northern Territory) *(Relocated from St. Kilda)
Essendon Bombers (Victoria)
Fremantle Dockers (Western Australia)
Geelong Cats (Victoria)
Gold Coast Suns (Queensland)
Hawthorn Hawks (Victoria)
Melbourne Demons (Victoria)
North Sydney Kangaroos (New South Wales) *(Relocated from North Melbourne)
North Queensland Bulldogs (Queensland) *(Relocated from Footscray/Western Bulldogs)
Perth Falcons (Western Australia)
Port Adelaide Power (South Australia)
Richmond Tigers (Victoria)
South Adelaide Panthers (South Australia)
Sydney Swans (New South Wales)
Tasmania Devils (Tasmania)
West Coast Eagles (Western Australia)
Western Sydney Giants (New South Wales)

However it should be noted that the league need to make sure 100% that those clubs that take over the relocated small VIC clubs need to preserve and celebrate their past heritage & history in Victoria "much much better" then they do with the Fitzroy - Brisbane situation and in some regards South Melbourne - Sydney situation right now otherwise the plan/vision would probably not work as well.
 

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
14,545
11,139
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy Football Club
However it should be noted that the league need to make sure 100% that those clubs that take over the relocated small VIC clubs need to preserve and celebrate their past heritage & history in Victoria "much much better" then they do with the Fitzroy - Brisbane situation and in some regards South Melbourne - Sydney situation right now otherwise the plan/vision would probably not work as well.
And how would they do that?

What should Sydney and Brisbane be doing better?
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
15,751
11,768
Muckertal
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Turtles, NYJets, Celtics, Tottenham
As do I.



As you'd expect.



But on what legal grounds? Were they illegal members if they paid their money and joined before the cut off date? Bill Guest's actions may not have been strictly ethical, but were any laws actually broken And if so what were they? Jopsph Gutnick and his entire family joined Melbourne for the first time to vote no. Is this essentially different?



How many members eligible to vote were locked out on that night? Ian Ridley claims that not one member who was eligible to vote on that night was locked out.



They were advertising in papers for people to join up as members in order to vote no.
Melbourne supporters joining up to vote against the merger is completely different to memberships being taken out in the names of non-MFC supporters in order to manipulate the vote (which is what I have heard is alleges to have occurred). Advertising in papers as a call to arms for Melbourne supporters to defeat the merger is not the same as fraudulently buying memberships in bulk to use as proxy votes for the "yes" vote.

Joseph Gutnick (the co-leader of the Demon Alternative and eventual President of the MFC) joining himself and his family up to vote no is also completely different. In fact it was probably a requirement of his standing as the head of the Demon Alternative with Brian Dixon.

I can't say how many people were locked out of voting, I wasn't there on the night (I was only a kid) but anecdotal evidence of people who were there suggests there were many people locked out and unable to vote. Of course Ridley will say everyone who wanted to vote could he's not going to admit the merger he was championing (and which helped create or at the very least accentuate the factions within the club) only got over the line due to dodgy practices and disenfranchising the members.

The guys on the Deebrief podcast did a 4 part podcast (No Merger) on this a few months back, it's worth a listen with each episode only 25 minutes or so long from memory and looks at both the MFC and HFC sides.
 

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
15,751
11,768
Muckertal
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Turtles, NYJets, Celtics, Tottenham
The point was that he was intimiately involved in the Melbourne football Club, as a former Hall of Fame player, a coach and chairman at the time of the merger and obviously knows the workings of the club inside and out from all perspectives. Why isn't he a reliable source of information about the merger?
I don't think he is reviled at all but it is precisely because of his involvement with the club at the time of the merger that he is not a reliable source of information. He had a vested interest in telling one side of the story because his position created a conflict of interest.
 

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
14,545
11,139
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy Football Club
Melbourne supporters joining up to vote against the merger is completely different to memberships being taken out in the names of non-MFC supporters in order to manipulate the vote (which is what I have heard is alleges to have occurred).
So on what legal grounds would the pro merger vote not stood up to a court challenge?

Joseph Gutnick (the co-leader of the Demon Alternative and eventual President of the MFC) joining himself and his family up to vote no is also completely different. In fact it was probably a requirement of his standing as the head of the Demon Alternative with Brian Dixon.
Gutnick's family needed to join for him to be head of the Demon Alternative?

I can't say how many people were locked out of voting, I wasn't there on the night (I was only a kid) but anecdotal evidence of people who were there suggests there were many people locked out and unable to vote.
Anecdotal evidence? There were certainly supporters who weren't allowed in to vote because they weren't members. There were certainly members who left because they weren't prepared to wait while voting credentials of the crowd were checked.

The Age reported on September 17, 1996 that at 8.10pm, Ridley said the meeting would be delayed while 3,000 members outside registered. He was loudly booed. At 8.40pm, he again addressed the crowd and said the meeting would be delayed for another 30 minutes while they worked on verifying all the members that were eligible to vote could get in to vote.

Of course Ridley will say everyone who wanted to vote could he's not going to admit the merger he was championing (and which helped create or at the very least accentuate the factions within the club) only got over the line due to dodgy practices and disenfranchising the members.
Well that was certainly the Demon Alternative's' view, which of course they would claim as opponents of the merger.
 
Last edited:

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
14,545
11,139
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy Football Club
I don't think he is reviled at all but it is precisely because of his involvement with the club at the time of the merger that he is not a reliable source of information. He had a vested interest in telling one side of the story because his position created a conflict of interest.
Well....yes. But why wouldn't it be "reliable"? Who else was in a better position to know why Melbourne sought a merger in the first place, how they went about trying to bring about a merger onc the Board had decided to pursue it, and providing an account of how the Melbourne Football Club ran the merger campaign including the vote?

Are you also saying that Dyson Hore-Lacy's account of Fitzroy's merger saga of 1996 (which I was personally involved in as a shareholder) is also unreliable. Doesn't Hore-Lacy have a vested interest as well?
 

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
15,751
11,768
Muckertal
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Turtles, NYJets, Celtics, Tottenham
So on what legal grounds would the pro merger vote not stood up to a court challenge?
On the grounds that the yes vote was manipulated with fraudulent proxy votes and that MFC members were disenfranchised and unable to exercise their right to vote. Considering the margins were so thin it wouldn't have taken much for the challenge to prove both if these factors led to the yes vote getting up

Wikipedia said:
While Melbourne members (aided by a large bloc of proxy votes and the inability of all interested parties to get inside the hall to vote) voted 4,679 to 4,229 in favour of the merger
 

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
15,751
11,768
Muckertal
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Turtles, NYJets, Celtics, Tottenham
Well....yes. But why wouldn't it be "reliable"? Who else was in a better position to know why Melbourne sought a merger in the first place, how they went about trying to bring about a merger onc the Board had decided to pursue it, and providing an account of how the Melbourne Football Club ran the merger campaign including the vote?

Are you also saying that Dyson Hore-Lacy's account of Fitzroy's merger saga of 1996 (which I was personally involved in as a shareholder) is also unreliable. Doesn't Hore-Lacy have a vested interest as well?
I can't comment on Hore-Lacy as I don't have as much knowledge of the ins and outs of the Fitzroy saga and his role. However what I can say is the positions are different, Ridley had to protect the narrative he and his board had created around there being majority support for the merger and the reasons behind it. The merger was sought because Ridley and the board thought MFC was not financially viable so wanted to takeover HFCs assets to secure the future. 25 years later and we're still alive and kicking so he was wrong about that as well despite his intimate knowledge.
 

Cubs2Lions

Debutant
Jan 12, 2021
127
116
Adelaide
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
South Adelaide
And how would they do that?

What should Sydney and Brisbane be doing better?
I can only speak on the Fitzroy - Brisbane situation as I don't follow Sydney as religiously.

I think the Brisbane Lions could do a quite of a lot tbh to promote their heritage & history of their past during their away VIC matches in Melbourne/Victoria.

Just some things like wearing the fitzroy style jumper during their matches, training sessions at the old Brunswick Oval more regularly (When playing in VIC) or even just more interviews from past Fitzroy players about their career and how the Lions are doing now on their media channels.

I didn't follow the Brisbane Lions as a kid just because they are based in Brisbane now, but mainly because of their amazing and fascinating history before that from the formation of the Fitzroy Football Club in 1883, to the arrival of the Brisbane Bears in 1987, to the merger of those two teams in 1996 to the current times we live in.

Simple things like that the club can do to respect and celebrate the club's past heritage and history from every dying.
 

JohnZ

Premiership Player
Mar 10, 2016
4,685
6,968
AFL Club
Geelong
I like the 22 game season, which dictates that we have 12 teams (11 home, 11 away). Now I don't think we want to see a 12 team comp, so I'm suggesting 2x12 team divisions, with full promotion and relegation. Keep the current 18 teams, but add:

*Hobart
*Launceston
*Canberra
*SA3
*WA3
*Auckland or NQLD

Division 1 plays a top 5 finals system over 4 weeks, bottom 4 gets relegated
Division 2 plays a top 4 finals sytem over 3 weeks, top 4 gets promoted

Gives both divisions a GF at 2pm Saturday in clean air
Div 1 GF played at the MCG
Div 2 GF played at the home venue of the higher ranked team
 

Remove this Banner Ad