You can't seriously compare the Richmond situation with Carlton & Essendon. In the 17 years from 1983 - 1999 when Carlton got done for cheating, Richmond played in just 1 finals series, no GF's and collected 2 spoons. Carlton enjoyed 11 finals series, 4 GF's and won 2 premierships. In the 30 seasons from 1983 - 2012 when Essendon got done for cheating, Richmond played in 2 finals series, no GF's and collected 4 spoons. Essendon fans enjoyed 19 finals series, 6 GF appearances and won 4 flags.
Let's see how big they are after 30 years of shitness, not just a few seasons in the case of the Bombers or half that period where Carlton is concerned. Furthermore, given our lack of success was largely our own doing, supporters had every right to abandon or jump ship. Essendon supporters have no such excuse since they're all convinced they did nothing wrong.