- May 29, 2007
- AFL Club
- North Melbourne
- Other Teams
- Bungaree FNC
You know this is actually quite wrong in a hell of a lot of ways.I support Victory simply because they were the first team in. Not going to change teams simply because another team came in.
In any event, Melbourne Heart was a disaster. The powers that be from Melbourne Heart said Melbourne Heart would do things differently, and yet they didn't. Same name (Melbourne), same venue and nothing much else. The name Heart was stupid IMO and I didn't like their strip. Having said that, I was looking forward to a real derby rivalry, but when your team (Victory) was the away team and was still getting more support in the stands, you knew it was never going to be. Heart will say they were the second team in and thus were starting behind the 8 ball, but look at WSW, they did things differently, different area, identified itself with a region of Sydney and basically offered a point of difference to SFC. Melbourne Heart offered no point of difference and thus I rate them as big a failure as Gold Coast, the only difference is the City Group bought Heart out, they could have easily have bought Gold Coast out, hence why this shambles of a club still exists today.
Hopefully the City Group comes to its senses and changes things a bit, relocates them, maybe calls them something else other than just 'Melbourne', and then some fans might turn up for them, because I'm still hanging for a real derby rivalry. Coming from Adelaide originally, it was hard to beat the Showdown rivalry between Port and the Crows, there was just no where to hide if your team loses the Showdown, I mean even the players punched on that time at the pub in Henley Beach. I don't ever expect the Melbourne derby to produce that sort of intensity but at least it should be equal to that of the Sydney derby.
I don't dislike Melbourne City (Heart) because I see them as a threat to Melbourne Victory, I dislike them because they have not been a threat to Melbourne Victory. It's fair to say that the Sydney derby, at the moment, is far better than the Melbourne derby, and we can thank those in charge of the Heart for having no foresight whatsoever to do anything different, even though they said they would be different.
1) For starters, Melbourne Heart was not in ANY danger of going under. They'd had slow but steady increases on membership and attendance year on year and ran basically to a modest profit in each year of their existance. The old owners, Sidwell & Co had plenty enough money to keep the club going; what they lacked was the money to invest in capital and marquee players, pretty much the same as every other club now bar Sydney and Victory.
2) Gold Coast had an average attendance of 3400 in both seasons it existed. Melbourne's lowest was 8,300 in season One. Completely incomparable as far as 'failures' goes.
3) Sydney/Western Sydney has a clear geographical divide. Melbourne doesnt. Putting a team in a suburb or regional area such as Geelong wouldnt have been any more successful than what the club currently has achieved. No doubt the head honchos of City/Heart would be disappointed with the pace of the growth, I'm sure they would have preferred to be attracting at least 15k a game regulalrly.
The stark reality was that most people that had wanted to follow an Australian football club did when Victory were born. To emphasise that, Victory were also successful which most people know that success is the number one way to attract new fans.
We were left with the people that either couldnt stand Victory or were Football converts. Heart and since City also have never really had success; the win against Perth was our first ever home final after 6 years of existence.
In saying that, if a third Melbourne side is introduced in the next few seasons, i think something South West based will be needed to further differentiate from the two.
4) City has changed plenty but i can tell you unequivocally that they wont be relocating anywhere. The roots are well and truly embedded and with success I think City can really bed down a following. If we start well, membership will likely hit over 13k this year, and attendances should rise even higher. Last season i thought that the AAMI derbies appeared closer to a 60:40 split, and this year it should be closer to 50;50 again.