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: 259 72.3%
  • Sydney, Essendon, Crows & Collingwood.

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

    Votes: 79 22.1%

  • Total voters
    358

Gavin Excell

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 22, 2007
28,823
31,178
AFL Club
Geelong
Going back to the original post so there is no dispute. I was asked if I have ever seen a multiple premiership player for Collingwood, well yes I have. Several in fact. Albert Collier winner of an incredible 6 Premierships (3 against the Tigers) used to sit in front of me at training in the 70s. A wonderful man, yes I saw him weekly. Harry Collier and Jack Regan used to take me down the rooms, Collier won 6 Premierships and Regan won 2. Knew them both personally and yes I saw them all the time. Harold Rumney and old Mrs Rumney, wonderful people, 5 flags, yes another Collingwood Premiership player who I saw. Would you like me to continue? There are many more.
Those are some storied names there.
 

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COOGRE

Debutant
Oct 1, 2019
53
171
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Southampton FC, New Orleans Saints
There is no big 4 anymore, all clubs are contributing massively to the league except maybe suns and gws. The teams that play at marvel stadium such as saints and dogs are the backbone of the AFL as the stadium is owned by the league and all the profits go to the AFL.
 

Tarkyn_24

Hall of Famer
Dec 23, 2006
32,324
29,932
AFL Club
Collingwood

Tigers led home crowds this year. Even after Collingwood played in a GF the previous year.

In terms of crowds, Richmond appear to be king atm. I'd still say pies are bigger overall, but you'd have to look at every facet of what defines club "size".

I think more impressive is the Blues. Considering their form, if they pick up, they could pull monster crowds in the future.

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What's the argument for excluding away games?

There'd be a large number of Melbourne based members with eighteen game memberships, not to mention interstate supporters that attend a club's away games.

I can understand leaving them out in a scenario where sides regularly play at grounds with markedly different capacities, but the range of Collingwood and Richmond's venues are as follows:
Coll - 16 MCG, 3 Marvel, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 SCG, 1 Adelaide Oval
Rich - 15 MCG, 4 Marvel, 2 Adelaide Oval, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 Metricon

Not a great deal of difference; Richmond played all three of the traditional Victorian big four at home, while Collingwood only played two of the three.

Collingwood's overall attendance exceeds Richmond's too, even with Richmond having their figure enhanced by attracting 100,000 grand final day.
 

Emptyorangeseat

Team Captain
Oct 6, 2019
580
1,115
AFL Club
Fremantle
What's the argument for excluding away games?

There'd be a large number of Melbourne based members with eighteen game memberships, not to mention interstate supporters that attend a club's away games.

I can understand leaving them out in a scenario where sides regularly play at grounds with markedly different capacities, but the range of Collingwood and Richmond's venues are as follows:
Coll - 16 MCG, 3 Marvel, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 SCG, 1 Adelaide Oval
Rich - 15 MCG, 4 Marvel, 2 Adelaide Oval, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 Metricon

Not a great deal of difference; Richmond played all three of the traditional Victorian big four at home, while Collingwood only played two of the three.

Collingwood's overall attendance exceeds Richmond's too, even with Richmond having their figure enhanced by attracting 100,000 grand final day.
It’s funny how the Pies and tiger fans always talk about attendances for the year reflecting who is the biggest club
Essendon and west coast play out of much smaller venues which restricts the attendance

Essendon play out of Marvel stadium and a sell out is around 44k and west coast play out of a much smaller venue as well!

both clubs are usually only a small number behind the pies and tigers.
Essendon has topped the attendance list or finished second many times
 

DAlembert

All Australian
Suspended
Mar 12, 2019
720
472
AFL Club
Geelong
“The Big Four” of the AFL are Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond.

They always have been and they always will be. The term is now part of VFL/AFL folklore.
The Term has never been a term. However those teams were the big 4. Geez Carlton and Essendon are a bit of joke at the moment..But Richmond and Collingwood know how that feels also. Carlton is the tragic story.... THAT campaigner scum bag John Elliot really screwed them! They have not recovered YET.
 

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Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
5,173
3,904
AFL Club
Collingwood
The Term has never been a term. However those teams were the big 4. Geez Carlton and Essendon are a bit of joke at the moment..But Richmond and Collingwood know how that feels also. Carlton is the tragic story.... THAT campaigner scum bag John Elliot really screwed them! They have not recovered YET.
Give me an extended period of time that Collingwood has been as bad as Essendon and Carlton have been over the past 15 years.

Certainly not in my lifetime. What is the worst period on Collingwood's history?

A handful of years in the late nineties? Mid 70's, when we won a spoon in '76?
 

Emptyorangeseat

Team Captain
Oct 6, 2019
580
1,115
AFL Club
Fremantle
Give me an extended period of time that Collingwood has been as bad as Essendon and Carlton have been over the past 15 years.

Certainly not in my lifetime. What is the worst period on Collingwood's history?

A handful of years in the late nineties? Mid 70's, when we won a spoon in '76?
No!
Collingwood has won a flag and been runners up!
Essendon hasn’t won a final for some 14 odd years something that is a record and had a little drug saga
Carlton have just been Carlton
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
10,437
9,717
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
West Perth
The Term has never been a term. However those teams were the big 4. Geez Carlton and Essendon are a bit of joke at the moment..But Richmond and Collingwood know how that feels also. Carlton is the tragic story.... THAT campaigner scum bag John Elliot really screwed them! They have not recovered YET.
That same scum bag was the reason they also had a lot of success. Carlton loved him at that time.
 

underthestars

Premiership Player
Jul 16, 2009
3,887
3,357
AFL Club
St Kilda
“The Big Four” of the AFL are Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond.

They always have been and they always will be. The term is now part of VFL/AFL folklore.
That's the big four of the vfl.
Since the advent of the afl era west coast are certainly one of the biggest four clubs. Carlton most certainly are not. Collingwood have remained. The other two spots vary based on success.
 

garlic munchers

Club Legend
Oct 3, 2006
2,093
2,145
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Cardinals
“The Big Four” of the AFL are Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond.

They always have been and they always will be. The term is now part of VFL/AFL folklore.
There once was a British Empire, the USA once ruled the world & people walked in front of cars with flags.

Oh yeah, there also once was a VFL big 4 (when mobile phones were only on Star Trek).
 

DAlembert

All Australian
Suspended
Mar 12, 2019
720
472
AFL Club
Geelong
Give me an extended period of time that Collingwood has been as bad as Essendon and Carlton have been over the past 15 years.

Certainly not in my lifetime. What is the worst period on Collingwood's history?

A handful of years in the late nineties? Mid 70's, when we won a spoon in '76?
Probably referring to all the missed opportunities...but you are right Pies have never sunk as low as other 3
 

Muh Village

Rookie
Aug 18, 2019
47
28
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
What's the argument for excluding away games?

There'd be a large number of Melbourne based members with eighteen game memberships, not to mention interstate supporters that attend a club's away games.

I can understand leaving them out in a scenario where sides regularly play at grounds with markedly different capacities, but the range of Collingwood and Richmond's venues are as follows:
Coll - 16 MCG, 3 Marvel, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 SCG, 1 Adelaide Oval
Rich - 15 MCG, 4 Marvel, 2 Adelaide Oval, 1 Optus, 1 GABBA, 1 WS, 1 Metricon

Not a great deal of difference; Richmond played all three of the traditional Victorian big four at home, while Collingwood only played two of the three.

Collingwood's overall attendance exceeds Richmond's too, even with Richmond having their figure enhanced by attracting 100,000 grand final day.
I chose home ground because it would provide a better indicator of attendance performance. As a number of factors can influence away attendances that aren't entirely at the behest of the away team. Consequently, home attendance provides sufficient data to elucidate the current situation between Collingwood and Richmond. I understand that the similarity in away grounds could provide a strong comparison, and it may also be useful in gauging the interest opposition supporters have. Ideally. looking at MCG only crowds would provide the best results with the least errors.

I'm not saying Richmond are bigger, in my eyes Collingwood will always be the biggest, but clearly Richmond are being underestimated here.
 

Goggin Our Best

Premiership Player
May 23, 2011
4,447
5,951
AFL Club
Geelong
Interesting question - seeing the big 4 - most people associate that with Coll Rich Ess Carl ( personally id have Haw and Eagles in at the expense of Blues and Dons )

But when was the last time that Magpies Tigers Blues and Dons all played in the one final series

It would be good one year if they all had gun sides and finished 1st to 4th at the end of home and away
 

What else we can do

Team Captain
Nov 20, 2018
388
458
AFL Club
Carlton
Interesting question - seeing the big 4 - most people associate that with Coll Rich Ess Carl ( personally id have Haw and Eagles in at the expense of Blues and Dons )

But when was the last time that Magpies Tigers Blues and Dons all played in the one final series

It would be good one year if they all had gun sides and finished 1st to 4th at the end of home and away
All matches would be 95k in finals and 85k during the home and away season.
 

SunshineTiger

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Jan 3, 2012
23,578
41,357
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea FC, Victory, All Blecks
Based on the above you'd probably say Collingwood, Richmond, West Coast and Essendon.
based on the above there’s a lot of clubs on the AFL tit, fu** me even north made a profit, but that bastion of corporate governance the cats just burn money
 

SunshineTiger

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Jan 3, 2012
23,578
41,357
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea FC, Victory, All Blecks
3 in 40 years. Can't remember who we beat in 1980, but I know we flogged 'em....
They are still traumatised about that one and have tried to erase it from history, you know what you can’t erase?

27 grand final chokes which coincidentally the same as the saints wooden spoons , and even the saints managed their only flag against the ultimate chokers
 

SunshineTiger

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Jan 3, 2012
23,578
41,357
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea FC, Victory, All Blecks
Yes but unfortunately we have beaten you in more Grand Finals then you have beaten us. We own you. Head to Head, More Grand Finals wind head to head and you haven’t beaten us in a final in 40 years.
Have you polished the prelimanaryship cup today?, last time we beat you we got a shiny little bauble, how did last year work out for you?

oh you wanted to match the saints number with another grand final choke
 

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