Which Melbourne team do you support and why?

bungareepremiers06

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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.
You know this is actually quite wrong in a hell of a lot of ways.

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.
 

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Steven Gerrard

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You know this is actually quite wrong in a hell of a lot of ways.

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.
As I said, I want City to be successful, but I disagree with you on a couple of points.

1) I think Melbourne has a geographical divide, the west for a start, I mean look how the west of Melbourne got behind the Bulldogs in the AFL grand final, and good on them. But IMO areas such as Broadie offer an even bigger divide, and not just geographical, but demographical as well.

2) Yes, slowly but surely City will increase its support base, but so will every other club, including Melbourne Victory. If City's growth as a percentage is bigger than Victory's, then that's good, but if it's growth is lower as a percentage, it almost has the effect of being exponential in Victory's favour. I don't know what City's membership numbers are at the moment, but you would think that with the players it has had in its books, it should be approaching 20,000. I hope City's numbers one day in the not too distant future do approach Victory's because as I said, I'd love nothing more than a derby to match derbies you see overseas. But the fact of the matter is, and I stand by my original op, it is not. The Sydney derby is the closest thing we have to an overseas derby at the moment, and that is because the powers that be at Heart got it wrong. Maybe if WSW went in before Heart, the Heart owners could have learnt from that, but nope, in the same city as the club with the biggest following, it went for the same official name and same area. What were they thinking? Maybe WSW looked at Heart and learnt what not to do. City home game derbies have as many, if not more, Victory fans, you don't think the Heart decision makers should not be blamed for that?, while all the while the Sydney derby is getting some international recognition.
 

nobbyiscool

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No doubt every club have them, some of the little hooligan twats that run around in the City end pretending to care about the team shits me no end. There is however a distinctly larger presence of these types in the RBB and NT, obviously the amount of supporters is a factor, and both of those have little subgroups that are pretty much full blown criminals (a certain group that rhymes with border comes to mind).
You nailed it in your first sentence dude - it's "little hooligan twats" who are "pretending to care about the team." They aren't members of the RBB or NT, because to members of those groups you have to be a member of the club, and they've already been banned. The amount of supporters is "a factor" - to me it is THE factor. If City packed 25k+ into AAMI Park, or if Smurfs packed 19k into a space the size of Parramatta stadium, they'd have all the same supporter issues. We know from some of the truly horrific shit that went on between Victory and Heart fans in the first few seasons that Heart had some of these shitty elements - the issue is just that crowds of 8-9k don't provide the shelter from police that 25k does, so they likely started going to Victory games instead (or maybe started stealing cars.)

This truly horrific element (where there was an attempted kidnapping as just one example) is why I don't personally have a big issue with flares. I get that they give the media the "sokkah bashing fodder", which is why I wish people wouldn't take them, and it's why I don't defend them per se - but I've seen and heard about serious shit going down at games and think to myself "how much are we paying Hatamoto to take photographs and see whether they can match attendees with banned people?! All so some league-loving peasant in a Sydney tabloid and 2 AFL sychophants that no one listens to on Melbourne radio will stop recoiling in horror at the notion that flares = ethnics = violence.

This is why I don't understand Victory supporters showing their dislike for Heart/City in wanting the club to close/disappear. Without them you don't get a derby!
I was going to reply to this, but then I read this:

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.
That's pretty damn well put for me. I don't have an intense dislike for City, and I don't know anyone else who wants them to genuinely close or disappear.

But maybe that's part of the problem. I find myself watching City games (like the current one) because I don't hate them - I feel the same apathy towards them as I do for 8 other A-League teams. And that's an issue. They should want me to hate them. They need me (and people like me) to hate them.

Cos that's where we're at. They've had 2 goes at trying to brand this club, to create something original, and to create something marketable. And they've screwed it up both times. So with the absence of any driving force encouraging them to grow or improve (cos CFGs money means they don't really have to), all they have left now for their ongoing relevance is all they had 5 years ago - they're not Victory. And that's no way to build a club. A club, any club around the world, can't have entire existence reliant upon one other team. Cos in 10 years, when lets say we've got promotion/relegation, and Victory go down - you'll effectively lose both Melbourne teams, cos Heart/City are will still only be as relevant as their rivalry with the Victory is.
 
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nobbyiscool

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Lol. After all that, I didn't even answer the question!

I only started following the NSL in the mid-late 90s cos in Tassie we couldn't watch it til then (and I'm only in my early 30s now anyway.) Cried in 1997, cried in 2001, celebrated the Crawford Report as the 2nd best thing John Howard ever did (after gun control), and became really excited and enthusiastic as we watched the league grow before I eyes. And I was only a little bummed that Tassie didn't have a team, as I was making plans to leave by then anyway.

I was in Melbourne for footy finals for Victory's first home game, which was against Perth, and I'm pretty sure it was a draw. It was exciting, there were lots of people, and this was the day I knew this league was going to make it. But it wasn't the day I became a fan of the Victory.

That day was about 6 or 7 weeks later when a trip over for the spring carnival coincided with Victory's 5-0 destruction of Sydney. This was the second time I'd seen them, and this was the day I became a fan. The terraces came alive that day. Melbourne as a "sporting capital" came alive. And I personally left the ground looking like the merch van had vomited on me.

That was the day our club truly came alive, and it's why - regardless of any promotional shit we hear before City, Reds or WSW games - the Smurfs will always be the original and the best A-Leage rivalry for me.

(Sadly my next move was to Canberra, not Melbourne, and it would've been so much easier to go for a Sydney team! I never wavered though.)
 
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BK Eaglesfan

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Lol. After all that, I didn't even answer the question!

I only started following the NSL in the mid-late 90s cos in Tassie we couldn't watch it til then (and I'm only in my early 30s now anyway.) Cried in 1997, cried in 2001, celebrated the Crawford Report as the 2nd best thing John Howard ever did (after gun control), and became really excited and enthusiastic as we watched the league grow before I eyes. And I was only a little bummed that Tassie didn't have a team, as I was making plans to leave by then anyway.

I was in Melbourne for footy finals for Victory's first home game, which was against Perth, and I'm pretty sure it was a draw. It was exciting, there were lots of people, and this was the day I knew this league was going to make it. But it wasn't the day I became a fan of the Victory.

That day was about 6 or 7 weeks later when a trip over for the spring carnival coincided with Victory's 5-0 destruction of Sydney. This was the second time I'd seen them, and this was the day I became a fan. The terraces came alive that day. Melbourne as a "sporting capital" came alive. And I personally left the ground looking like the merch van had vomited on me.

That was the day our club truly came alive, and it's why - regardless of any promotional shit we hear before City, Reds or WSW games - the Smurfs will always be the original and the best A-Leage rivalry for me.

(Sadly my next move was to Canberra, not Melbourne, and it would've been so much easier to go for a Sydney team! I never wavered though.)
Great story nobbyiscool, thank you.

Some interesting responses and funnily enough have probably raised more questions than answers in their own way.

I'm from Perth originally, followed the Glory in the old NSL days of Despotovski and Berndt Stange. For some reason that didn't follow through to the A-League even though they were the only NSL club to retain their identity. Something had changed and I just didn't like the A-League Glory.

I've moved interstate 4 times in the last 10 years, have continued following the Eagles in the AFL, but in the absence of being anywhere too long haven't settled on an A-League team. Looks like I'll be in Melbourne for a while, hopefully a long while. So Victory or City?

I actually went to that first Telstra Dome game they moved for the Victory and loved the atmosphere. Went to another couple of games and you guessed it, my partner at the time got sick of some of the crap going on at (and after) games. We lived near TD and used to joke with friends that you could tell when MV were playing across he road because of all the police sirens. I've been to Anfield and my passion is Liverpool, so I know all about crowd segregation, but it stopped her wanting to go.

The there was the antics of Muscat on field and even though I wanted to love the Victory but just couldn't get there. The Liverpool game at the G' helped, but that pocket of their fans etc I'm not converted.

So, the option.....City......I watched a couple of their games last year and all I can see them as is an Australian Manchester City......who have had a name change already in a 5 year history and represent (by name) the same place the Victory do. The Mooy deal did nothing to change the Man City feel. I don't hate City the way I do United, but following a team with direct affiliation with a direct rival of Liverpool seems off...and if many people have the same attitude as I do on that, City's growth is stunted for a long while yet as they have alienated supporters of every other team in the British pyramid. Of course over time I guess they hope it will work in reverse. Kids will choose City here when they become interested in football and then become Man City supporters second. I just don't see what they stand for except not being Victory. Which compared to being tied to a Manchester club may not be enough of a selling point.
 

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Great story nobbyiscool, thank you.

Some interesting responses and funnily enough have probably raised more questions than answers in their own way.

I'm from Perth originally, followed the Glory in the old NSL days of Despotovski and Berndt Stange. For some reason that didn't follow through to the A-League even though they were the only NSL club to retain their identity. Something had changed and I just didn't like the A-League Glory.

I've moved interstate 4 times in the last 10 years, have continued following the Eagles in the AFL, but in the absence of being anywhere too long haven't settled on an A-League team. Looks like I'll be in Melbourne for a while, hopefully a long while. So Victory or City?

I actually went to that first Telstra Dome game they moved for the Victory and loved the atmosphere. Went to another couple of games and you guessed it, my partner at the time got sick of some of the crap going on at (and after) games. We lived near TD and used to joke with friends that you could tell when MV were playing across he road because of all the police sirens. I've been to Anfield and my passion is Liverpool, so I know all about crowd segregation, but it stopped her wanting to go.

The there was the antics of Muscat on field and even though I wanted to love the Victory but just couldn't get there. The Liverpool game at the G' helped, but that pocket of their fans etc I'm not converted.

So, the option.....City......I watched a couple of their games last year and all I can see them as is an Australian Manchester City......who have had a name change already in a 5 year history and represent (by name) the same place the Victory do. The Mooy deal did nothing to change the Man City feel. I don't hate City the way I do United, but following a team with direct affiliation with a direct rival of Liverpool seems off...and if many people have the same attitude as I do on that, City's growth is stunted for a long while yet as they have alienated supporters of every other team in the British pyramid. Of course over time I guess they hope it will work in reverse. Kids will choose City here when they become interested in football and then become Man City supporters second. I just don't see what they stand for except not being Victory. Which compared to being tied to a Manchester club may not be enough of a selling point.
Nice man, seems to me you don't have to much of an option with your explanations lol. I think you should give Victory another go as I've said in an early post the hooligan element isn't as big as it use to be and the atmosphere at games is still crazy good especially at AAMI Park. (maybe don't bring the misses ;))
Otherwise try and regain your love for the Glory they seem to have finally got it right at last and might actually have a very good chance of winning the dunny seat this season.
 

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I got on board Heart from the very start when they played Everton in a pre-season friendly. Got free tickets to the game and was pleasantly surprised with the style of football they played, had a European feel about it which I never got previously from watching Victory.

No doubt it's been tough early on in the Heart days but now with the City group in charge, things seem to be going in the right direction. Plus, it's something to do in the AFL off-season and the fact that our home games are at AAMI is an added bonus. Man I love that stadium.
 

nobbyiscool

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he fact that our home games are at AAMI is an added bonus. Man I love that stadium.
It's funny, most Victory fans say it's the one and only thing that we have to be jealous/envious of - playing all games at AAMI.

I'm not like that at all. I kind of loathe going to Etihad for the AFL, cos there's no real benefit to being an AFL member at that ground, and cos having to sit up on level 3 sucks. But for the A League? There's every benefit to being a Victory member and getting your bottom level seat - I think it's a great view and, while I know fans complain that a lot of the noise is "lost" at Docklands, I've never noticed it on Level 1 sitting about half way between the NT and the half way line.

Personally, I probably slightly prefer AAMI - but it's only slight, and it's only cos AAMI Park is closer, it's easier on public transport, and for the once-twice a year that I drive to sporting games it is much easier to get to and to park near. I wouldn't even bother driving to Docklands, I just had to miss the Wanderers game at Etihad last year when my train line, my tram line, and the train line on the other side of me were all shut down on the same Saturday afternoon :mad:
 

BK Eaglesfan

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Nice man, seems to me you don't have to much of an option with your explanations lol. I think you should give Victory another go as I've said in an early post the hooligan element isn't as big as it use to be and the atmosphere at games is still crazy good especially at AAMI Park. (maybe don't bring the misses ;))
Otherwise try and regain your love for the Glory they seem to have finally got it right at last and might actually have a very good chance of winning the dunny seat this season.
New misses thankfully. :thumbsu:

Glory, nope. It's not about jumping on them now they're winning. Moved back to Perth at one stage and just couldn't get interested in them. Definitely looking forward to the Melbourne derby.
 

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New misses thankfully. :thumbsu:

Glory, nope. It's not about jumping on them now they're winning. Moved back to Perth at one stage and just couldn't get interested in them. Definitely looking forward to the Melbourne derby.

Don't know what to say mate your in a bit of sticky situation or in football limbo so to speak.

As a Victory fan trying to convert friends (in which I have) I try to take them to a match against Adelaide or SydneyFC the derby doesn't do it, not because I fear my mates may turn (well a little of that too, I make sure I convince them before hand ;)) but it also has this David V Goliath feel to it and it doesn't seem fair. With the other two clubs we have a far more invest history and hatred the games are great and the atmosphere is just electric especially against Adelaide the banter and the chanting between the supporter groups is bloody brilliant! and what a way to start supporting a team against an interstate rival, oh and I must take them to AAMI Park you just haven't experience football in this town without going to watch a football match at AAMI Park! (when its full of course)
 
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BK Eaglesfan

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Don't know what to say mate your in a bit of sticky situation or in limbo so to speak.

As a Victory fan trying to convert friends (in which I have) I try to take them to a match against Adelaide or SydneyFC the derby doesn't do not because I fear my mates may turn (well a little of that to but i make sure i convince them before hand ;)) but it also has this David V Goliath feel to it and it doesn't seem fair. With the other two clubs we have a far more invest history and hatred the games are great and the atmosphere is just electric especially against Adelaide the banter and the chanting between the supporter groups is bloody brilliant! and what a way to start supporting a team against an interstate rival, oh and I must take them to AAMI Park you just haven't experience football in this town without going to watch a football match at AAMI Park!
I reckon I'll end up Victory.....ill even learn to try and like Berisha (was living in Perth when he screwed the Glory out of a GF). On top of the Man City connection.....their marquee signing being an Everton man is just too much.

Glory certainly looking good tonight, albeit think plenty of sides will look good against CCM.

Derby will be good and can't wait to get to AAMI, haven't watched a game there yet at all.
 

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As I said, I want City to be successful, but I disagree with you on a couple of points.

1) I think Melbourne has a geographical divide, the west for a start, I mean look how the west of Melbourne got behind the Bulldogs in the AFL grand final, and good on them. But IMO areas such as Broadie offer an even bigger divide, and not just geographical, but demographical as well.

2) Yes, slowly but surely City will increase its support base, but so will every other club, including Melbourne Victory. If City's growth as a percentage is bigger than Victory's, then that's good, but if it's growth is lower as a percentage, it almost has the effect of being exponential in Victory's favour. I don't know what City's membership numbers are at the moment, but you would think that with the players it has had in its books, it should be approaching 20,000. I hope City's numbers one day in the not too distant future do approach Victory's because as I said, I'd love nothing more than a derby to match derbies you see overseas. But the fact of the matter is, and I stand by my original op, it is not. The Sydney derby is the closest thing we have to an overseas derby at the moment, and that is because the powers that be at Heart got it wrong. Maybe if WSW went in before Heart, the Heart owners could have learnt from that, but nope, in the same city as the club with the biggest following, it went for the same official name and same area. What were they thinking? Maybe WSW looked at Heart and learnt what not to do. City home game derbies have as many, if not more, Victory fans, you don't think the Heart decision makers should not be blamed for that?, while all the while the Sydney derby is getting some international recognition.
If you were to plot the population centre of Melbourne, you'd land in Glen Iris (10km southeast of the CBD). If you were to plot the population centre of Sydney, you'd land somewhere around Ermington (19km northwest of the CBD). So, yeah when these armchair experts take potshots at Heart/City and say "Why not just set up a team in West Melbourne? You would have had another Wanderers, as simple as that," it kind of gets my nose out of joint. Because, obviously, they don't have the slightest clue what they're talking about.

The population of Melbourne is over 4.5 million. As well as Victory has undeniably done in generating support since its inception, less than 1% of those people are members of either Melbourne-based A-League team. The whole of Melbourne is still a massively untapped resource. AAMI Park is also a fantastic venue for players and spectators, far and away the best venue in the state for soccer. And, of course, do you think that Melbourne Heart would have sold for more than the Wanderers did to CFG if they'd been the Broadmeadows Heart? Personally, I doubt it.

Heart/City's problems have been solely down to a lack of success and the fact that Victory has consistently been better since Heart's first year. Once City starts consistently winning silverware, City will become one of the consistently best-supported teams in the league. You can point to numerous examples of Melburnians turning out to watch any successful elite sporting team. or the attendance numbers swelling of any Victorian AFL club when they become a premiership contender.

Personally, I was pretty ambivalent about the A-League until Heart's second year. I jumped on board because my Dad supported them. He supports Sunderland and we both had a natural aversion to Muscat and Geoff Lord, which was part of the reason I was never really that keen on Victory. When I wanted to become a member of an A-League team, I thought it was a good opportunity to get in on the (relative) ground floor of something. And while I know of Victory supporters that jumped to City after the CFG takeover, I don't know anyone that went the other way because of the same reason. Again, the promise of future success overshadows any slight conflicts with people's English clubs.
 
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nobbyiscool

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New misses thankfully. :thumbsu:

Glory, nope. It's not about jumping on them now they're winning. Moved back to Perth at one stage and just couldn't get interested in them. Definitely looking forward to the Melbourne derby.
Interesting that you say you couldn't get into it cos, in a lot of ways, the 2001(ish) era of Perth Glory was the template for every other team. I guess though, to watch their games, you aren't the only fan they lost.

That said, it sounds like you're almost in on Victory anyway. I'm transient too, so I know it can be nice to live in the same city as one of your teams; City are a rubbish outfit everywhere except on the field itself, and I can't imagine why anyone who doesn't go for Man City would support Heart.


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giggler99

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I reckon I'll end up Victory.....ill even learn to try and like Berisha (was living in Perth when he screwed the Glory out of a GF). On top of the Man City connection.....their marquee signing being an Everton man is just too much.

Glory certainly looking good tonight, albeit think plenty of sides will look good against CCM.

Derby will be good and can't wait to get to AAMI, haven't watched a game there yet at all.
Good man :thumbsu::thumbsu:

Berisha isn't as bad as people make him out to be sure he gets angry and has a few brain farts after all he is Albania! lol, he does dive at times which I don't like but name me a striker that doesn't? (did you see Fornaroli today lol ), but when you see Berisha up close you'll see how he wears his heart on his sleeve and is a very affectionate sometimes selfless player and he loves the fans, he always has time for us and I hate that he get a bad reputation for that.

I don't Mind Cahill its good he's playing in the A-League but I just don't like the way he's paraded himself around like the $2Million whore he's become.

lol Glory have just stuffed it up!!
 
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Steven Gerrard

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If you were to plot the population centre of Melbourne, you'd land in Glen Iris (10km southeast of the CBD). If you were to plot the population centre of Sydney, you'd land somewhere around Ermington (19km northwest of the CBD). So, yeah when these armchair experts take potshots at Heart/City and say "Why not just set up a team in West Melbourne? You would have had another Wanderers, as simple as that," it kind of gets my nose out of joint. Because, obviously, they don't have the slightest clue what they're talking about.

The population of Melbourne is over 4.5 million. As well as Victory has undeniably done in generating support since its inception, less than 1% of those people are members of either Melbourne-based A-League team. The whole of Melbourne is still a massively untapped resource. AAMI Park is also a fantastic venue for players and spectators, far and away the best venue in the state for soccer. And, of course, do you think that Melbourne Heart would have sold for more than the Wanderers did to CFG if they'd been the Broadmeadows Heart? Personally, I doubt it.

Heart/City's problems have been solely down to a lack of success and the fact that Victory has consistently been better since Heart's first year. Once City starts consistently winning silverware, City will become one of the consistently best-supported teams in the league. You can point to numerous examples of Melburnians turning out to watch any successful elite sporting team. or the attendance numbers swelling of any Victorian AFL club when they become a premiership contender.

Personally, I was pretty ambivalent about the A-League until Heart's second year. I jumped on board because my Dad supported them. He supports Sunderland and we both had a natural aversion to Muscat and Geoff Lord, which was part of the reason I was never really that keen on Victory. When I wanted to become a member of an A-League team, I thought it was a good opportunity to get in on the (relative) ground floor of something. And while I know of Victory supporters that jumped to City after the CFG takeover, I don't know anyone that went the other way because of the same reason. Again, the promise of future success overshadows any slight conflicts with people's English clubs.
Sydney is not that much bigger than Melbourne, and greater Melbourne is approaching 4.5 million. You make some good points but my original comment stands, the decision makers of Heart messed up. Last night there was a record crowd in Sydney for their derby and here you and I are talking about what City could be. City was admitted to the league a year before WSW, yet as the second team in goes, City is so far behind WSW in terms of fans, members and interest that it's not funny. True, lack of success has not helped City, but City has had some quality players play for it, and the off-pitch benefits of that are barely recognisable.

Hopefully the City Group eventually makes City a powerhouse (hopefully not as much as Victory :) ), but it won't have the Heart decision makers to thank for that. They had no foresight whatsoever, me thinks they just thought by calling itself Melbourne and basing itself in Melbourne, the crowds would just come. Did it do its research? If you look at every big derby in Australian sport, Crows v Power, Eagles v Dockers, SFC v WSW, even Collingwood v Carlton (working class v inner city professionals), there is a clear demographic and geographic divide. In Melbourne in the early 1900s there was a geographic divide between Carlton and Collingwood.

As an example, look at the Crows. Just like Victory to Melbourne, the Crows used the city's name, the state colours, the pride of SA bla bla. Do you think that if the second SA club in was also called Adelaide, it would have worked? It would have been an epic fail. Because what would the point of difference be? The only option that would have worked was Port Adelaide, and even then, that was looking dicey for a while, again, because of some stupid decisions made.

I keep coming back to my op, where was the point of difference with Heart and what were the Heart decision makers thinking when they implemented no point of difference whatsoever, none?
 

sverik25

Norm Smith Medallist
May 31, 2008
5,381
6,095
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Gold City Royals
I moved to Melbourne from the Sunshine Coast in 2009. Up until that point, I'd never really followed soccer aside from an interest in major international tournaments, especially the World Cup.

When I moved down here, my interest in the game began to grow, but I didn't connect with Victory. So when Heart came in, and I was still looking for a team I gladly jumped on. I think part of the appeal for me of Heart was that they were the small club, with a distinct challenge in trying to establish a foothold battling against Victory.

I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan like I am of St Kilda, but I have always followed Heart/City avidly and usually make it to 2-3 home games per year. I must admit I am one of the old Heart fans who misses the old identity of the club, despite its lack of success and support. The buyout by Man City is something I still grapple with from time to time, even though I don't dislike Man City as a club.
 

MC Extra Dollop

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 17, 2006
21,185
17,784
AFL Club
Geelong
Sydney is not that much bigger than Melbourne, and greater Melbourne is approaching 4.5 million. You make some good points but my original comment stands, the decision makers of Heart messed up. Last night there was a record crowd in Sydney for their derby and here you and I are talking about what City could be. City was admitted to the league a year before WSW, yet as the second team in goes, City is so far behind WSW in terms of fans, members and interest that it's not funny. True, lack of success has not helped City, but City has had some quality players play for it, and the off-pitch benefits of that are barely recognisable.
Melbourne people turn up to domestic sporting matches, people from Sydney, generally do not. If Melbourne really cared about a dick measuring contest over record attendances for an A-League game, scheduling the next Melbourne derby at the MCG would fix that.

Plus, I'm not really talking about what City could be; I'm pretty comfortable with how City is tracking. City's most two successful seasons have been the two since CFG took over and the club has just won its first game for only the second time in its history. City had a decent season last year, one of only two in its history where it has been better than Victory. It's still in the running for the FFA Cup and will have the most recognisable player in the A-League by far this season. The club is pretty clearly on the up.

Hopefully the City Group eventually makes City a powerhouse (hopefully not as much as Victory :) ), but it won't have the Heart decision makers to thank for that. They had no foresight whatsoever, me thinks they just thought by calling itself Melbourne and basing itself in Melbourne, the crowds would just come. Did it do its research? If you look at every big derby in Australian sport, Crows v Power, Eagles v Dockers, SFC v WSW, even Collingwood v Carlton (working class v inner city professionals), there is a clear demographic and geographic divide. In Melbourne in the early 1900s there was a geographic divide between Carlton and Collingwood.
And I'll repeat: If Peter Sidwell had plonked the original Melbourne Heart in Footscray, or Dandenong, or Reservoir, or Geelong (and played God knows where), CFG would not have been interested in the slightest. We would have the same issues luring quality players as Newcastle and Central Coast does. We wouldn't have been purchased for more than the Wanderers were at roughly the same time. Just to repeat: Wanderers came into the league, they were crowned champions in their first year, they played in front of packed houses at home, yet old unfashionable Melbourne Heart sold at around the same time for much more. The whole thing was run on the smell of an oily rag, but Sidwell turned a profit. He's a businessman and Melbourne Heart was a successful business.

As an example, look at the Crows. Just like Victory to Melbourne, the Crows used the city's name, the state colours, the pride of SA bla bla. Do you think that if the second SA club in was also called Adelaide, it would have worked? It would have been an epic fail. Because what would the point of difference be? The only option that would have worked was Port Adelaide, and even then, that was looking dicey for a while, again, because of some stupid decisions made.
And how would that have worked for an A-League example? Put the Melbourne Knights, or South Melbourne in the league? How would those endeavours have worked better than the path that was ultimately taken?

I keep coming back to my op, where was the point of difference with Heart and what were the Heart decision makers thinking when they implemented no point of difference whatsoever, none?
What's the point of difference for an Australian NBA or EPL fan, who just randomly latches on to a team, despite never even being to the city? It's because the team is successful, or they like the uniforms, or their favourite player plays for them, or some other arbitrary reason.

I'll break it to you gently: Melbourne Heart then and Melbourne City now don't owe you a point of differential at inception. Splitting the two Melbourne teams geographically would have been utterly stupid: all it would have done would have been to cut off half of Melbourne (at least) to prospective members/supporters (because why would someone from Oakleigh want to support a team based in Footscray, or vice versa?), without even considering the money pit it would have been.

People treat the A-League as though it's been around for 50 years. The point of differential will be built over the coming years and decades, as players and coaches come and go, derbies are played and cups are won and lost.
 

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