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: 151 67.4%
  • Sydney, Essendon, Crows & Collingwood.

    Votes: 15 6.7%
  • Sydney, Essendon, Crows & West Coast.

    Votes: 58 25.9%

  • Total voters
    224

Farang83150

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On this topic, the concept of “the big 4” is a relic from the VFL days. It’s no longer relevant.
Who out there really cares whether your club is big 4? In this current climate so long as your club is competitive and financial (or improving in both areas) why care about unimportant shit like this.
That’s my actual take.


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Correct, many people don't seem to understand that the old VFL that carked it in 1990 is not the same as the new AFL unless of course they just like to keep some bits and pieces and discard others....
 

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Obeanie1

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Following a premiership Has any other club in the history of the game managed to put on 100,000+ members , 25% more than any other club in the league , No coz they haven’t the capacity to do so .
Did ess go to no 1 with 25% more members than the next team , did Coll after their flag . You know the answer , bluster only gets you so far , bald facts are what counts, duck and weave all you like to avoid them
Bald facts.......such as the number of years between flags?

There are members and supporters.

Richmond has the most members. That is one area they have covered.

What about sustained success and financially?
 

Boston tiger

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Carlton and Richmond definitely are, this is why we always get the Marquee Season Opener every season every year, despite Carlton being battlers for several years now.

Haters gonna hate, but them's the facts.
Have to agree. Chris Judd left West Coast so he could play at a big club. He knows.
 

Bojangles17

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Bald facts.......such as the number of years between flags?

There are members and supporters.

Richmond has the most members. That is one area they have covered.

What about sustained success and financially?
Currently have 13mn in the bank and zero debt , compares pretty well to blues and ess banana republic debt levels. We’ve never been better placed in our history relative to our peers
 

Alphonse_

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Look at it this way, Collingwood is and always will be, the biggest club in the AFL, that is undeniable, and Carlton are their most hated and bitter rival (even when we are cactus, we always find a way to their anniversary games :D) so that automatically makes The Blues part of the top 4, even when we have been poor for quite a long time.

Even before all their recent success, The Boston Red Sox have always been regarded as Baseball's 2nd biggest franchise, cause of The Yankees/Babe Ruth connection.

Historical context is everything
No legit English soccer fan consider Chelsea or Man City a top 4 best all time club (for instance)
 

Dazzler10

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Look at it this way, Collingwood is and always will be, the biggest club in the AFL, that is undeniable, and Carlton are their most hated and bitter rival (even when we are cactus, we always find a way to their anniversary games :D) so that automatically makes The Blues part of the top 4, even when we have been poor for quite a long time.

Even before all their recent success, The Boston Red Sox have always been regarded as Baseball's 2nd biggest franchise, cause of The Yankees/Babe Ruth connection.

Historical context is everything
No legit English soccer fan consider Chelsea or Man City a top 4 best all time club (for instance)
And this has been Carlton's mentality for the past 20 years. Born to rule. How's that been working out?
 

Obeanie1

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Look at it this way, Collingwood is and always will be, the biggest club in the AFL, that is undeniable, and Carlton are their most hated and bitter rival (even when we are cactus, we always find a way to their anniversary games :D) so that automatically makes The Blues part of the top 4, even when we have been poor for quite a long time.e)
Yerrr.........nahhhh!

Get off the bottom of the ladder first.........then you can talk!
 

harrythetiger

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We are not expecting a 3 peat we haven't mentioned i once, all we heard from your mob was 3 peat. I know that to winning the flag in 2019 its not given
I never heard a Richmond supporter mention a 3 peat. All I heard was 5 peats and above.
Then the occasional serious one that genuinely spoke about B2B. We got closer to that than the significant drop many seemed to want to happen.
 

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Franchise haha nice one, you really have some witty arguments. How is the Richmond 3 peat going? 2017 flag and then oh wait
Yep, got to laugh at the numpties calling WC a franchise when the AFL licences all AFL teams to play.

If it’s too hard to understand that ownership itself is unrelated to franchising then just consider WC is owned by the Western Australian Football Commission, a not for profit organisation charged with developing all West Australian footy.

Good argument for saying the owners of WC are far more altruistic than the stake holders of the Vic clubs and yes we currently have a big 3, not a big 4.

Collingwood, Tigers and WC with an honourable to Adelaide.
 

telsor

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Yep, got to laugh at the numpties calling WC a franchise when the AFL licences all AFL teams to play.

If it’s too hard to understand that ownership itself is unrelated to franchising then just consider WC is owned by the Western Australian Football Commission, a not for profit organisation charged with developing all West Australian footy.

Good argument for saying the owners of WC are far more altruistic than the stake holders of the Vic clubs and yes we currently have a big 3, not a big 4.

Collingwood, Tigers and WC with an honourable to Adelaide.
I do draw a distinction between clubs that are owned by their members and those owned by a corporate entity (NFP or not). The latter could be called franchises, but I wouldn't consider it to be disparaging, just different.

Personally, the only club ownership models I have issues with are those that are owned by the AFL itself, either outright (GC, GWS) or in effect (e.g. Brisbane & St Kilda who are both so indebted to the AFL they can't afford to not do whatever the AFL 'suggests'). My problem with that is more that the supposedly independent commission, which is (nominally) appointed by the clubs both owns a big swathe of votes and has a particular vested interest in the success of certain clubs.
 
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I do draw a distinction between clubs that are owned by their members and those owned by a corporate entity (NFP or not). The latter could be called franchises, but I wouldn't consider it to be disparaging, just different.

Personally, the only club ownership models I have issues with are those that are owned by the AFL itself, either outright (GC, GWS) or in effect (e.g. Brisbane & St Kilda who are both so indebted to the AFL they can't afford to not do whatever the AFL 'suggests'). My problem with that is more that the supposedly independent commission, which is (nominally) appointed by the clubs both owns a big swathe of votes and has a particular vested interest in the success of certain clubs.
You forgot the Swans who have the same ownership model as us.

In our case it's inevitable for now.

It's not true that the AFl has more or less of a vested interest in clubs whose licence it iwns though. It 's interest is the AFL competition. The larger member owned clubs have a bigger impact on that competition.
 

gopies1981

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Bald facts.......such as the number of years between flags?

There are members and supporters.

Richmond has the most members. That is one area they have covered.

What about sustained success and financially?
Funny thing is last year Brandon Gale stated that in terms of supporters around Australia Richmond were well behind West Coast, Adelaide, Collingwood and Essendon
 

telsor

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You forgot the Swans who have the same ownership model as us.

In our case it's inevitable for now.

It's not true that the AFl has more or less of a vested interest in clubs whose licence it iwns though. It 's interest is the AFL competition. The larger member owned clubs have a bigger impact on that competition.
I was using examples, not trying to provide a definitive list, nor am I saying there aren't valid reasons in some cases...I'd just make it so such clubs didn't get a vote on Commission matters (not a big change...there aren't THAT many things the clubs vote on).

So the AFL wouldn't gain more from having a club it owns be more successful and thus less of a financial burden?
 
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I was using examples, not trying to provide a definitive list, nor am I saying there aren't valid reasons in some cases...I'd just make it so such clubs didn't get a vote on Commission matters (not a big change...there aren't THAT many things the clubs vote on).

So the AFL wouldn't gain more from having a club it owns be more successful and thus less of a financial burden?
I dont think it works like that. The AFL wouldn't control our vote.

As for a burden. From a business perspective it's exactly like saying opening a new gold mine is a burden. Initially it requires investment for long term gain. The definition of dumb is to continue to operate an unprofitable mine, losing money for no purpose. Ie the less successful Melbourne clubs
 

muzhogg

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On this topic, the concept of “the big 4” is a relic from the VFL days. It’s no longer relevant.
Who out there really cares whether your club is big 4? In this current climate so long as your club is competitive and financial (or improving in both areas) why care about unimportant shit like this.
That’s my actual take.


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Pretty much my sentiments, too.

Sure, it shows a Melbourne bias (and a historical one) but for me "the big 4" will always be Richmond, Carlton, Essendon, and Collingwood. That's what "the big 4" meant when I was growing up, and whilst other teams are as (or more) successful in recent years I simply can't imagine dropping any of these teams in favor of another.

But given that the competition has expanded from 12 to 18 teams, shouldn't we really be talking about a similarly expanded number of "big" clubs (i.e. a "big 6")?

Personally, I don't need to pump up my own clubs tyres. We all know that Richmond had a really bad patch for years, but let's be honest -- pretty much any club would be happy to be where Richmond are right now. Some are doing as well, I doubt any are doing better. As a supporter, I have no complaints and that's about all that really concerns me.
 

The Dice Man

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Maybe on wins alone: Collingwood, Carlton, West Coast and Essendon? Changes over time though, this vid was a pretty cool way to show how it changes over time though I thought
Cool clip. Amazing that Collingwood have been able to stay up for their entire history pretty much, I mean they've lost something like 60 Grand Finals but at least they get there and that is amazing consistency. Richmond's win rate dropped dramatically throughout the 80/90/00's and our recent positive winning ratio has barely affected overall winning %. Carlton are on a similar slope but still retain a strong winning percentage.
 

telsor

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I dont think it works like that. The AFL wouldn't control our vote.

As for a burden. From a business perspective it's exactly like saying opening a new gold mine is a burden. Initially it requires investment for long term gain. The definition of dumb is to continue to operate an unprofitable mine, losing money for no purpose. Ie the less successful Melbourne clubs
I'd describe the current situation more as prospecting for a gold mine.

Sinking money in on for indefinite period on the hope/belief that it'll pay off some time many, many years down the track.

The less successful Melbourne clubs still make money *for the AFL* though. (Docklands didn't buy itself...)
 
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I do draw a distinction between clubs that are owned by their members and those owned by a corporate entity (NFP or not). The latter could be called franchises, but I wouldn't consider it to be disparaging, just different.

Personally, the only club ownership models I have issues with are those that are owned by the AFL itself, either outright (GC, GWS) or in effect (e.g. Brisbane & St Kilda who are both so indebted to the AFL they can't afford to not do whatever the AFL 'suggests'). My problem with that is more that the supposedly independent commission, which is (nominally) appointed by the clubs both owns a big swathe of votes and has a particular vested interest in the success of certain clubs.
Noted, the reality is all clubs have sold their soul to an AFL house who dole out the cheque’s to greatful recipients and in many cases, dependent recipients.

Sign of the time when even the “big” clubs are subservient to Gil’s wishes.

Case point being the mcg deal & adelaide, Sydney & WC muted responses.
 

telsor

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Noted, the reality is all clubs have sold their soul to an AFL house who dole out the cheque’s to greatful recipients and in many cases, dependent recipients.

Sign of the time when even the “big” clubs are subservient to Gil’s wishes.

Case point being the mcg deal & adelaide, Sydney & WC muted responses.
I agree that it's a matter of degree, but I pickd St Kilda & Brisbane because the AFL could shut both clubs down tomorrow with a stroke of a pen (by calling in their debts).

As for the 'muted response'...I think that was more a combination of recognising that it was a good deal for the AFL and that it was a battle they were never going to win, so it wasn't worth the effort to fight it.
 
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