Which clubs are really the big four of the AFL?

Which clubs are really the big four of the AFL?

  • Essendon, Collingwood, Carlton & Richmond.

    Votes: 261 72.5%
  • Sydney, Essendon, Crows & Collingwood.

    Votes: 20 5.6%
  • Sydney, Essendon, Crows & West Coast.

    Votes: 79 21.9%

  • Total voters
    360

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Can we define what it means to be a "big club".
How do we measure it?
By current numbers or historical numbers? If so, how far is to far ago?
No point having an augurment if your auguring different things?
Biggest club now and biggest club historically are two different things?
 
Upon pressure and incentives from the league, and saturation of the dire warnings about the consequences of too many teams based in Melbourne, a number of Melbourne-based clubs began investigating and pursuing potential mergers. Some proposals raised in the local media included various combinations of Melbourne, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Footscray, Fitzroy, North Melbourne and Richmond, and only a late fightback campaign had averted a merger between Fitzroy and Footscray in 1989. Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong were generally exempt from these proposals due to their financial success.
 

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Upon pressure and incentives from the league, and saturation of the dire warnings about the consequences of too many teams based in Melbourne, a number of Melbourne-based clubs began investigating and pursuing potential mergers. Some proposals raised in the local media included various combinations of Melbourne, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Footscray, Fitzroy, North Melbourne and Richmond, and only a late fightback campaign had averted a merger between Fitzroy and Footscray in 1989. Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong were generally exempt from these proposals due to their financial success.

Wouldn't call Carlton a 'success' but they have been kept alive by a small number of very wealthy benefactors e.g. Pratt and Fox.
 
The league is designed to promote, protect and propagate the 5 or 6 largest Victorian Clubs plus the Swans. It is its raison d’tere.

With this in mind, there is a clear top 2.

Collingwood. They are a constant. Eddie has manipulated the league to promote Collingwood’s interests above all others. Most football supporters only add to this in believing hating Collingwood is the right thing to do. Idiots. It just feeds them.

Sydney. The AFL covet the coverage, recognition and most importantly dollars from Australia’s most important city.

The rest (Essendon, Hawthorn, Richmond, Carlton and Geelong) oscillate in importance, each moving in and out of positions, (for Carlton it has been some time, Richmond only very recent).

Then there is a Clear Big 1. West Coast. Despite what is written above – it doesn’t effect West Coast. They sit on their own. Their levels of wealth, support, that weird West Australian parochialism just drives them to beat the system. They piss in the face of what AFL House wants.

The Crows, despite being a very well supported club, just don’t have any relevance, results or clout outside of their own fishbowl.

So if you had to narrow it down to 4, it goes:
West Coast
Collingwood
Sydney
Essendon/Richmond/Hawthorn/Carlton/Geelong (whoever is flavour of the month).
Great post:thumbsu::thumbsu::thumbsu:
 
The AFL clearly want 4 clubs from NSW QLD Vic to be the top 4 clubs, which is understandable with 75% of Australias population coming from those states and its all about market share

but reality sees Collingwood West Coast Adelaide and Richmond At the moment as the big four
 
Can we define what it means to be a "big club".
How do we measure it?
By current numbers or historical numbers? If so, how far is to far ago?
No point having an augurment if your auguring different things?
Biggest club now and biggest club historically are two different things?

Good questions. I think there are a number of factors that determine bigly, as a certain POTUS would put it in a tweet.

Membership numbers are one clear measure.
Support base as measured by survey is another.
Attendance numbers, corrected for proportion of ground filled.
Attendance numbers corrected for interstate 'direbys' and clashes between Melbourne based Clubs
Relative success of each team this century.
Immeasurables such as water cooler talk relevance.
 
Based on what they were making at the dilapidated Subiaco stadium through membership/corporate and match day revenue, given the massive increase in capacity at the new stadium, the increased ticket prices and corporate opportunities, I reckon in 2018 West Coast could conceivably make $50 mill in revenue from memberships/corporate hospitality alone. The other so called "Big" Clubs would be lucky to make half of that.

It may sound like I have a hard on for West Coast. I don't. Just a realist. They are a ****ing bohemoth. Those still living in some 1980s VFL day dream need to accept this. I'm starting to come around to the idea that the AFL might want to get WA3 off the ground sooner rather than later to try and curb West Coast's influence.
 
Based on what they were making at the dilapidated Subiaco stadium through membership/corporate and match day revenue, given the massive increase in capacity at the new stadium, the increased ticket prices and corporate opportunities, I reckon in 2018 West Coast could conceivably make $50 mill in revenue from memberships/corporate hospitality alone. The other so called "Big" Clubs would be lucky to make half of that.

It may sound like I have a hard on for West Coast. I don't. Just a realist. They are a ******* bohemoth. Those still living in some 1980s VFL day dream need to accept this. I'm starting to come around to the idea that the AFL might want to get WA3 off the ground sooner rather than later to try and curb West Coast's influence.[/QUOTE

Agreed. They could break WC into two clubs with links to historical WAFL clubs. Arguably Adelaide could be divided in two.

Drop Carlton and North and you keep an 18 team comp.
 
If you combine on field performance , membership numbers and financial position there is really only a big 3:
West Coast
Collingwood
Hawthorn

The other clubs that like to think themselves 'big 4' either fall down in one of the key areas or haven't done it consistently enough over the last 10-15 years to be currently considered. Collingwood is probably borderline in the on field success department, but make up for it in the other areas.
 
Based on what they were making at the dilapidated Subiaco stadium through membership/corporate and match day revenue, given the massive increase in capacity at the new stadium, the increased ticket prices and corporate opportunities, I reckon in 2018 West Coast could conceivably make $50 mill in revenue from memberships/corporate hospitality alone. The other so called "Big" Clubs would be lucky to make half of that.

It may sound like I have a hard on for West Coast. I don't. Just a realist. They are a ******* bohemoth. Those still living in some 1980s VFL day dream need to accept this. I'm starting to come around to the idea that the AFL might want to get WA3 off the ground sooner rather than later to try and curb West Coast's influence.

I've lived in WA for 15 years now. You're right, they are a massive club. Could even rival Collingwood for the #1 spot.

WA3, is this a thing? I didnt think there would be any more clubs on the horizon....
 

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Another thing about the Eagles, is they have a LOT of fair weather/part time fans.
If they ever hit a prolonged run of mediocrity, you watch the attendances and support plummet.
 
Oh, your record attendances are all achieved at the MCG my little toothless magpie

As for records I just quoted one of your clubs fine achievements, equal lowest home and away crowd ever 2000 Coll v Haw well done.

You may want to check how many grounds around Australia in VFL / AFL history have Collingwood in their highest venue attendance. Richmond, not only minnows but also ill-informed.
 
People writing off Carlton simply don't understand how it works, when (if) they become good again their fans will emerge, green grocers will suddenly be closed on game days, Toyota Celica's and Valiants will dusted off and diriven proudly along Melbourne streets.

All things being even it's
Collingwood
Essendon/Carlton in Melbourne.

Richmond are a fad, my sister in law even brought a membership lol and she hates football, i asked her why and she said she thought she'd had too because of how shit they were, i also asked if she was buying one for 2019, she said no.
Tigers a fad?
 
Based on what they were making at the dilapidated Subiaco stadium through membership/corporate and match day revenue, given the massive increase in capacity at the new stadium, the increased ticket prices and corporate opportunities, I reckon in 2018 West Coast could conceivably make $50 mill in revenue from memberships/corporate hospitality alone. The other so called "Big" Clubs would be lucky to make half of that.

It may sound like I have a hard on for West Coast. I don't. Just a realist. They are a ******* bohemoth. Those still living in some 1980s VFL day dream need to accept this. I'm starting to come around to the idea that the AFL might want to get WA3 off the ground sooner rather than later to try and curb West Coast's influence.
Eagles cap their membership dont they?
Youd wonder what it could be if unfetteted
 
Come back and see me when you break one of our attendance records Nimmy.
Yeah but attendances influenced by the other side/where you play them/their relative success at the time of the season.

Luckily the last two years have thrown up two sudden-death finals at the MCG Collingwood/Richmond vs GWS. As pure a comparison as u can get for these two clubs.

It was 75k V's 95k

Membership numbers split the same way.

Right now the Tigers are a phenomenon. That Tigers GWS game the most parochial football game in this country's history, and already a 'Were you there' moment.
 
Yeah but attendances influenced by the other side/where you play them/their relative success at the time of the season.

Luckily the last two years have thrown up two sudden-death finals at the MCG Collingwood/Richmond vs GWS. As pure a comparison as u can get for these two clubs.

It was 75k V's 95k

Membership numbers split the same way.

Right now the Tigers are a phenomenon. That Tigers GWS game the most parochial football game in this country's history, and already a 'Were you there' moment.

:think: I made as much noise as I could, and so did the faithful around me.

But yeah, even on the other side the atmosphere was amazing.
 
Do they still cap it?

There are no seated memberships available. You buy a $70 In The Wings membership to get on the waiting list, paying for this membership each season to keep your place in the queue.

Reserved Seat and Flexi memberships are unavailable for purchase at this time. Members must progress through the In The Wings waitlist category of membership before they are entitled to access membership options at Optus Stadium.

https://membership.westcoasteagles.com.au/browse-packages-0
 
There are no seated memberships available. You buy a $70 In The Wings membership to get on the waiting list, paying for this membership each season to keep your place in the queue.

Reserved Seat and Flexi memberships are unavailable for purchase at this time. Members must progress through the In The Wings waitlist category of membership before they are entitled to access membership options at Optus Stadium.

https://membership.westcoasteagles.com.au/browse-packages-0

Lol. West Coast have over 80,000 members. 50,000 11 game reserved seat members. Let's allow 5000 for other types of memberships. So that means West Coast are making $1.75 mill .... annually... by just having somebody's name on a list. As I've said numerous times, no other club is even remotely close to West Coast.
 
Lol. West Coast have over 80,000 members. 50,000 11 game reserved seat members. Let's allow 5000 for other types of memberships. So that means West Coast are making $1.75 mill .... annually... by just having somebody's name on a list. As I've said numerous times, no other club is even remotely close to West Coast.
Do Richmond and Collingwood get 50,000 supporters attending each of their 11 home games? I don't follow the attendances, but it seems whenever WC - or any non-Vic club - plays these clubs in Melbourne, the attendance is fairly low. But I could be wrong, so this is a legitimate question.
WC home games regularly exceeded 50K last season regardless of opposition.
 
Do Richmond and Collingwood get 50,000 supporters attending each of their 11 home games? I don't follow the attendances, but it seems whenever WC - or any non-Vic club - plays these clubs in Melbourne, the attendance is fairly low. But I could be wrong, so this is a legitimate question.
WC home games regularly exceeded 50K last season regardless of opposition.

Sometimes you go to 2 games in the one day in Melbourne. It’s a different vibe .. more like the old WAFL. I imagine over in the West the 2 week build up would get everyone hyped up ready for the rabid boo fest.
If Richmond could only see their team every second week and every game was against an interstate club you would get a pretty large average figure as well.
 
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