Query What made St Kilda so bad in the early VFL days?

scaryness

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St Kilda's first decade or so in the VFL speaks for itself.

1897: 0-14 (29.0%)
1898: 0-17 (32.7%)
1899: 0-17 (23.2%)
1900: 1-16 (37.5%)
1901: 1-16 (32.1%)
1902: 0-17 (41.9%)

They were getting 1000+ points against in only 14 games with the next worst defensive team only having close to 600.

Is there any documentation on why St Kilda were just so bad?

Where they 'promoted' to the VFL from the VFA to hastily? Were their players on the piss during games?
 

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Fizzler

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From my research I have found two possible reasons why they got into the league
1. St Kilda had a train line
2. Junction Oval had fences which meant they were able to charge for admission
There were only two clubs who made the VFL in 1897 but didn’t win a flag, they were Melbourne and St Kilda, but Melbourne came runners up a few times. I still hold firm my belief that St Kilda shouldn’t have gotten into the league and that it should’ve been Port Melbourne.
 

Supermercado

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They finished above Geelong and Carlton in the 1896 VFA season with a 6-1-11 record so not like they were a wreck of a side the year before.

However they were 3-1-14 in 1894 and 3-2-13 in 1895 so '96 must have been quite the tease to their fans.
 

35Daicos

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This is what it says in the book The Clubs - The Complete History of Every Club In The VFL/AFL: When the great split in the game occurred in 1896 St Kilda was one of the last clubs invited to join the VFL.

It is a popular misconception that the Saints were only included because of their excellent ground at the Junction which was well served by public transport and represented, with South Melbourne, a presence on the on the south side of the Yarra.

Certainly the venue was a major consideration, but in 1896 St Kilda finished ninth on the 13-team VFA ladder. Geelong and Carlton shared bottom place.
------------------
Annoyingly, it doesn't really say what they believe sealed the spot in the VFL for St Kilda, despite suggesting it wasn't just because of the venue/location. Also, what it says about Geelong and Carlton sharing bottom place doesn't match how this site has it: http://www.elitetograssroots.net/vfa/1896.htm
 

DeIulio2Pearce

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There were only two clubs who made the VFL in 1897 but didn’t win a flag, they were Melbourne and St Kilda, but Melbourne came runners up a few times. I still hold firm my belief that St Kilda shouldn’t have gotten into the league and that it should’ve been Port Melbourne.
The 1890s were the first real time of industrial unrest in Australia, I'm sure the well to do administators who split off to form the VFL didn't want anything to do with a club run by militant wharfies, for militant wharfies! Great bloody shame.
 

Fizzler

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The 1890s were the first real time of industrial unrest in Australia, I'm sure the well to do administators who split off to form the VFL didn't want anything to do with a club run by militant wharfies, for militant wharfies! Great bloody shame.
Yeah weren’t they overlooked in 1925 for behaviour? They had banned police from playing for them too for a while.
 

PerthBoy86

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I've pondered this. Not just the early years but most of their history. 121 years and 1 premiership by a single point! Unbelievable to think a single point makes the difference between no premierships ever! And 5 gf losses, including 09 and 10, one very close and one drawn. Surely if any club is cursed it's them.
 

Bunk Moreland

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From what I’ve read they actually weren’t all that well established. They’d only been in the VFA since 1886, prior to that they were on and off depending on when they could field a team.

Small club, small area to draw players from. All clubs from that area have struggled over the years in comparison to the big VFL clubs. St Kilda, Port and South all have / had small areas, just look at a map of Melbourne to see that. They’re bordered by the CBD, water, and bigger eastern suburbs clubs. St Kilda’s relocation to Moorabbin was a crucial move that saw them kick on.
 

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Todman

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Board room coups are the reason the Saints were down for so long. There be a coup every couple of years.

The Saints were one of the original six that meet to discuss breaking away from the VFA. That is why they are in the VFL/AFL.

Geelong was too far to travel and Collingwood only got the gig because they won the 1896 VFA Grand Final.
 

Todman

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Suggest you get a copy of this book

Title
The point of it all : the story of the St Kilda Football Club / Jules Feldman and Russell Holmesby.

Date 1992 ISBN 094985350X
 

giggler99

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I've pondered this. Not just the early years but most of their history. 121 years and 1 premiership by a single point! Unbelievable to think a single point makes the difference between no premierships ever! And 5 gf losses, including 09 and 10, one very close and one drawn. Surely if any club is cursed it's them.
With 27 wooden spoons to boot! Which is more than double that of the next worst in North Melbourne with 13!
 

giggler99

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Board room coups are the reason the Saints were down for so long. There be a coup every couple of years.

The Saints were one of the original six that meet to discuss breaking away from the VFA. That is why they are in the VFL/AFL.

Geelong was too far to travel and Collingwood only got the gig because they won the 1896 VFA Grand Final.
Do you have a link to a reference that the Saints where involved? From what I was lead to believe the main instigating clubs to break away where Geelong, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Essendon and Fitzroy. Collingwood where invited due to being the current premiers. Carlton where invited as long as they could secure a fence around Princess Park which was in prime location plus the blues had a strong early history in the game.

St.Kilda where invited due to the proximity of the Junction oval as well as to complement South Melbourne on the south side of the Yarra.

Port Melbourne where out of the question due to their feral fans, guessing Williamstown where just a poor club with poor facilities and not an attractive area for the league at the time, not sure. But the league was never gonna give it to either of them so St.Kilda was the only logical choice.
 
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PerthBoy86

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Likewise North Melbourne were excluded in their early years due to the behaviour of some of their fans.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Do you have a link to a reference that the Saints where involved? From what I was lead to believe the main instigating clubs to break away where Geelong, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Essendon and Fitzroy. Collingwood where invited due to being the current premiers. Carlton where invited as long as they could secure a fence around Princess Park which was in prime location plus the blues had a strong early history in the game.

St.Kilda where invited due to the proximity of the Junction oval as well as to complement South Melbourne on the south side of the Yarra.

Port Melbourne where out of the question due to their feral fans, guessing Williamstown where just a poor club with poor facilities and not an attractive area for the league at the time, not sure. But the league was never gonna give it to either of them so St.Kilda was the only logical choice.
The original six “agitators” who started the movement were Geelong, Collingwood, Essendon, Melbourne, Fitzroy and South Melbourne. They were the bigger clubs in terms of support and had common complaint in that they felt they were “subsidising” the other VFA clubs, who didn’t have as many supporters and drew smaller gates.

They invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them so they’d have eight clubs. Exactly why isn’t really a matter of official record as the conversations weren’t recorded - there was probably some politics involved. However the general reason given was that they both had superior home grounds to the rest of the VFA clubs. It doesn’t really seem like a geographical issue, as both St Kilda and Carlton were close to other VFL clubs.
 

giggler99

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The original six “agitators” who started the movement were Geelong, Collingwood, Essendon, Melbourne, Fitzroy and South Melbourne. They were the bigger clubs in terms of support and had common complaint in that they felt they were “subsidising” the other VFA clubs, who didn’t have as many supporters and drew smaller gates.

They invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them so they’d have eight clubs. Exactly why isn’t really a matter of official record as the conversations weren’t recorded - there was probably some politics involved. However the general reason given was that they both had superior home grounds to the rest of the VFA clubs. It doesn’t really seem like a geographical issue, as both St Kilda and Carlton were close to other VFL clubs.
Probably a discussion for a different thread but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the VFL as well as South Melbourne wanted a second team South of the Yarra due to most of the clubs being located north of the Yarra.

There should be official records on paper somewhere whether its true or just speculation just have to dig a little for it.
 

MISFITS

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Board room coups are the reason the Saints were down for so long. There be a coup every couple of years.

The Saints were one of the original six that meet to discuss breaking away from the VFA. That is why they are in the VFL/AFL.

Geelong was too far to travel and Collingwood only got the gig because they won the 1896 VFA Grand Final.
Interesting research.
Collingwood were the most popular club.
Even in their inaugural year(1892) CFC held the highest memberships.
Crazy how little changes.
St.Kilda we're the worst VFA club before they became the worst VFL club.
 

emuboy

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I've pondered this. Not just the early years but most of their history. 121 years and 1 premiership by a single point! Unbelievable to think a single point makes the difference between no premierships ever! And 5 gf losses, including 09 and 10, one very close and one drawn. Surely if any club is cursed it's them.
I've often wondered what would have happened that day back in 1966 if after Barry Breen's point in the dying seconds Collingwood had raced the ball super-fast from one end to the other, scoring a goal and the Magpies winning the premiership by 5 points.

Would St. Kilda still be in the league today with no premierships in 122 years?
 

PerthBoy86

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I've often wondered what would have happened that day back in 1966 if after Barry Breen's point in the dying seconds Collingwood had raced the ball super-fast from one end to the other, scoring a goal and the Magpies winning the premiership by 5 points.

Would St. Kilda still be in the league today with no premierships in 122 years?
Probably would've been in danger regardless, but pulled through. Dunno if one premiership would've made much difference. I mean weren't Hawthorn, Melbourne, Richmond, Carlton at one stage facing the threat of a merger/the chop and survived? Let alone smaller clubs like the Dogs and Roos.
 

PerthBoy86

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I've often wondered what would have happened that day back in 1966 if after Barry Breen's point in the dying seconds Collingwood had raced the ball super-fast from one end to the other, scoring a goal and the Magpies winning the premiership by 5 points.

Would St. Kilda still be in the league today with no premierships in 122 years?
Jean Calment, the oldest human who ever lived who's age can be verified, lived to 122. She died, interestingly enough, in 1997 when the Saints dream of another gf was killed off.
 

DeIulio2Pearce

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Probably would've been in danger regardless, but pulled through. Dunno if one premiership would've made much difference. I mean weren't Hawthorn, Melbourne, Richmond, Carlton at one stage facing the threat of a merger/the chop and survived? Let alone smaller clubs like the Dogs and Roos.
Unless something happened early days I'm unaware of, Carlton have never faced the chop and every merger proposal we were linked with was a takeover really.
 

Bunk Moreland

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I've often wondered what would have happened that day back in 1966 if after Barry Breen's point in the dying seconds Collingwood had raced the ball super-fast from one end to the other, scoring a goal and the Magpies winning the premiership by 5 points.

Would St. Kilda still be in the league today with no premierships in 122 years?
I think so, yeah. The move to Moorabbin really was a defining point for the Saints, more so than the premiership, it gave them a proper home and geographic catchment, which put them at an advantage over South and Fitzroy in terms of the clubs that have been lost.

South never had a geographic supporter catchment, Fitzroy never had a home.

St Kilda’s zoning is what rooted them onfield, as “the club of the south” they didn’t have access to the area down to the peninsula. For decades, champion after champion came out of that area... and went to Hawthorn.
 

PerthBoy86

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Unless something happened early days I'm unaware of, Carlton have never faced the chop and every merger proposal we were linked with was a takeover really.
Yeah I heard someone mentioned it and was surprised as I'd not heard of it. Maybe I misheard/they were mistaken.
 
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