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"No Merger" Podcast


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Vicious Vote Night | 4 - Published on Tuesday, August 18 - LISTEN HERE

The Demon Alternative and Operation Payback scrambled to get last minute press ahead of the Members' Vote Night. Wild scenes greeted the pro-merger Boards, as the merger descended into a night of utter chaos. Vicious taunts and toxicity pervaded the Dallas Brooks Hall and Camberwell Civic Centre, where both sets of supporters would decide upon the future of their football clubs.

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I just caught up on these. Nice job by the producers, the whole saga would make a great TV doco one day. To be honest I thought the most insightful information was sourced from the quotes taken from Ian Ridley’s Urge to Merge, which I read a few years back. But still nice to hear it all put together, and I thought they captured the atmosphere of the merger match really well.

I walk away with a few lingering thoughts:

  • ·        How does history view Tiger Ridley (RIP) and the decision of the board to recommend the merger 24 years on? I was a member at the time, a bit too apathetic (and possibly too young) to vote, but I remember being undecided as what was best for the club. One might argue we would have folded/relocated/merged if it wasn’t for the later financial success of the AFL and things like the competitive balance fund. I’m sure in hindsight everyone on this site is glad that it didn’t happen, given that we are still alive, and (relatively) flourishing, but I’m not sure that makes the recommendation to merge the wrong decision.
     
  • ·       I still can’t get my head around why the Hawthorn board recommended the merger in its proposed form that was heavily in our favour (name, home ground, jumper). I understand that they were in a dicey financial position at the time, but they had everything else going for them (assets, on-field success, healthy support base, if not paid up members). Given their rapid off-field success immediately after this period, it seems they would have been better off at least trying the tin-rattling solution fist.
     
  •           And the million dollar question, if the majority of Hawthorn members had voted for the proposal, would it have gone ahead (would the threats of legal action over the vote have stopped the process)?
Edited by IWAP
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45 minutes ago, IWAP said:

 

  •  
  • ·       I still can’t get my head around why the Hawthorn board recommended the merger in its proposed form that was heavily in our favour (name, home ground, jumper). I understand that they were in a dicey financial position at the time, but they had everything else going for them (assets, on-field success, healthy support base, if not paid up members). Given their rapid off-field success immediately after this period, it seems they would have been better off at least trying the tin-rattling solution fist.
     
  •           And the million dollar question, if the majority of Hawthorn members had voted for the proposal, would it have gone ahead (would the threats of legal action over the vote have stopped the process)?

Whorethorn had The Banks knocking on the door ? They had no money and no Members

They were taking what they could get. Neither Side fully realized the Passion and Resolve of Supporters on both sides until it was in motion

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting that in the last episode it's suggested that the reason they held the meeting at Dallas Brookes Hall was because the phone survey suggested that many people would turn up, when Ridley's book says it was because the Tennis Centre was booked for the Dalai Lama. I always thought that was a suss reason, surely there was a venue somewhere between the two sizes available.

The next big thing for this story is when somebody finds the full tapes of both meetings. We've seen the highlights enough, even if it's just people yelling I want to see the whole thing. 

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12 minutes ago, Dingo said:

Was at Dallas Brookes.Have never forgotten Ian Ridley being booed.I opposed the merger , but Tiger - a MFC Legend- didn’t that treatment.An amazing meeting!

At least you got inside Dingo!!

It got very willing outside as it did inside

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13 hours ago, Supermercado said:

Interesting that in the last episode it's suggested that the reason they held the meeting at Dallas Brookes Hall was because the phone survey suggested that many people would turn up, when Ridley's book says it was because the Tennis Centre was booked for the Dalai Lama. I always thought that was a suss reason, surely there was a venue somewhere between the two sizes available.

 

Perhaps Festival Hall may have been more appropriate @Supermercado. The old "House of Stoush"

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29 minutes ago, Go the Biff said:

Perhaps Festival Hall may have been more appropriate @Supermercado. The old "House of Stoush"

Was thinking that. Or the Glasshouse? Surely that was still going in 96?

Would have had lots of mid-size venues if we'd got the 96 Olympics!

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The podcast says that the Melbourne members voted by a slim margin for the merger. My memory is that many members were locked out of the meeting and there were questions about the validity and number of the proxy votes by mail. The podcast touches on this but doesn’t make it all clear. Also many dyed-in-the-wool supporters were members of the MCC but didn’t join the MFC because there was little advantage  to them to join: so no voting rights. I believe it’s a myth that MFC members voted for the merger and this myth is another reason other clubs’ supporters think we’re weak.

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Hats off to all involved, sensational podcast that absolutely captured every emotion involved. I was only 10 at the time so all I remember was not wanting Melbourne to die but not really understanding any of the mechanisms involved. I remember asking y dad what he was voting (had voted) and he definitely voted no merger, I also remember holding that no merger sign (in hindsight I wish I’d held onto it!). 

Some big revelations/claims in there as well, the part about Joe Gutnick saying he’d cross over if the players backed it was very interesting. 

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Had to go overseas for work the night of the vote, but was here for the last game. Took my mum to that game, who passed away this year after 89 years of following the Demons, thinking it would be the last time we’d ever see Melbourne play. Nearly got into a fight in the bottom deck of the Northern stand after a heated argument with another Melbourne supporter who was openly welcoming the merger.  
 

Can still remember walking out of the MCG after the game with my mum, thinking that would be the last AFL game I would ever see. Based on the media, the merger seemed a done deal, so I was going to ditch AFL and follow local footy. Maybe I would have changed my mind, but at the time I was so upset.
 

I remember writing a letter to Ian Ridley at the time, pleading with him to back down, and how the merger would be devastating for my family. My son had just been born in July of that year and he was going to be a fourth generation Melbourne supporter and the merger was going to destroy my dream of going to the footy with my son, just as my dad had taken me. So glad the merger failed, even though there’s been so many disappointing seasons since 1996, my family has stuck fat, we all support Melbourne, attend nearly every home game together and it’s been a core part of our lives. 

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