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BOUND FOR SOMEWHERE ELSE - a Demonland Feature


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BOUND FOR SOMEWHERE ELSE by Whispering Jack

In today's Australian, Chip Le Grand reports (Kangaroos leap final hurdle on way to Gold Coast) that the Kangaroos are to become the third of the Victorian clubs to move interstate with a decision expected to commit to a permanent move to the Gold Coast in 2010 before Christmas. They will follow South Melbourne which was relocated to Sydney in 1981 and became the Swans and Fitzroy which was virtually bludgeoned out of existence in 1996 to become part of the merged Brisbane Lions.

There is talk of the possibility of a legal challenge but Kangaroos fans should be bracing themselves for the move. There will be another AFL team in southeast Queensland by the end of the decade and it will be the Northern Kangaroos playing out of Gold Coast Stadium at Carrara.

When the Demons make their first interstate trip of the AFL 2008 home and away season to meet the Kangaroos at the above venue, there will be plenty to think about for those who have our club's interests at heart, not the least of which is whether it is possible the Melbourne Football Club might one day suffer a similar fate to that of the Swans, the Lions and the Kangaroos and find itself bound for somewhere else.

The AFL is surely looking at the potentially lucrative markets of Sydney's burgeoning westen suburbs for its next foothold and with mergers now firmly off the AFL agenda, there is one major and compelling reason which is the basis for the relocation of AFL clubs – poverty! As Le Grand states -

"A report commissioned by the Kangaroos and conducted by sports consultancy Gemba found the economic climate was tough for North Melbourne and would get tougher as its traditional supporter base continued to atrophy.

"The Kangaroos this season attracted 22,196 members, the fewest of any Melbourne-based club and a 10 per cent decline on last season's tally. More alarming, it has a shrinking supporter base of just 176,000 people, the smallest in the competition. According to Roy Morgan Research, the Kangaroos had 50,000 more supporters six years ago."

Here is a club which was considered as the AFL club of the 'nineties - the most successful of the decade - incredibly consigned interstate because of lack of interest among supporters and a lack of money.

The concern for Melbourne, the foundation club of the AFL entering its 150th year, is that the Demons are not that far in front of the Kangaroos. The club will post a financial loss this season after budgeting for a sizable profit and it faces an uphill struggle to increase membership numbers on the back of a poor season on the field in 2007.

The club received no assistance from the AFL in terms of the fixture which was released yesterday and which gave the club just one Friday night fixture for the year giving it 70 per cent of its games on Sundays, including 12 out of 13 from rounds five to 17. Commercially, the Demons have been sent to the trash heap even if the draw might be relatively more favourable in playing terms compared with the horrors of what was served up in 2007. Meanwhile, the blockbuster clubs like Collingwoood will once again receive their good share of free kicks both in terms of commercial and on-field benefit. The club has no contol over the matter now and if Dean Bailey's charges can produce their best the draw will be the least of their worries.

The lesson of the Kangaroos is there for all to see. The club must dig in and work harder than ever not just to achieve success on the field but off it as well. There is no easy route – a better season on the field might help but we need even more than a red and blue facsimile of the "shinboner" spirit both on and off the ground in 2008 and beyond to ensure that the Melbourne Football Club remains at the spritual home of the M.C.G where it all began some 150 years ago!

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What a generic competition the AFL has become.When you look at it Melbourne is the only team that can claim a home ground(apart from Geelong).

The rest have become just bland 'brands'.If Premier League or NFL officials saw the way Melbourne based clubs carry on they would laugh their heads off!

The only two organizations to have a home ground is Melbourne and the AFL with their sterile offices overlooking a windswept Docklands at Telstra Dome.

And the AFL calls itself a professional league...sheesh! :lol:

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This article should be sent to all former members who don't renew their subscriptions and to all Melbourne supporting MCC members who don't take up the MFC memberships.

We need everybody on board and backing the club in our 150th year. I don't want us to be the West Sydney Demons in 2017!

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This article should be sent to all former members who don't renew their subscriptions and to all Melbourne supporting MCC members who don't take up the MFC memberships.

We need everybody on board and backing the club in our 150th year. I don't want us to be the West Sydney Demons in 2017!

We have 1advantage, ie our Name or Brand - Melbourne

They cannot transfer us out of our name sake city ?

AFL would lose the rivalry between the cities.

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If, indeed, the Roos do move North, that will certainly leave us as just about the most vulnerable in terms of possible future relocations.

Despite us being "Melbourne", it appears to me that the AFL cares little for us and is not emotionally attached to the idea of maintaining a club by that name.

What we need is a groundswell of real support for our club in its 150th year. This means thousands more supporters turning up to normally low-attendance games at the 'G, the Dome and even at Geelong. We can no longer afford crowds of around 20,000 and the embarrassment of few Demon supporters turning up to away games at the Dome and almost none at Kardinia Park.

We need at least 40,000 minimum to every MCG game, 20,000 of us at away games at the Dome and some noticeable support at our game in Geelong.

We need our entire supporter base to get behind the MFC, starting 2008, whether we are winning or not.

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As a an article pertaining to other clubs.. I concur. we however are the MELBOURNE DEMONS. By our very moncker we could not exist anywhere else.

It may seem glib..and soe say naieve.. but its simply inconceivable that we would exist anywhere else other than MELBOURNE.

You could no more move the Melbourne Cricket Ground or the Yarra... we are that much a part of the fabric of this fair city that an AFL without a team called Melbourne is just plain fanciful !!

We started it...we aint going no where !!!!

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As a an article pertaining to other clubs.. I concur. we however are the MELBOURNE DEMONS. By our very moncker we could not exist anywhere else.

It may seem glib..and soe say naieve.. but its simply inconceivable that we would exist anywhere else other than MELBOURNE.

You could no more move the Melbourne Cricket Ground or the Yarra... we are that much a part of the fabric of this fair city that an AFL without a team called Melbourne is just plain fanciful !!

We started it...we aint going no where !!!!

I think that's true. Whether we will always be the Melbourne Demons is probably the real question. I'm not old enough to remember, but around the time of the Dees' proposed merger with Hawthorn, weren't we going to be called the Melbourne Hawks?

But I think that the Kangaroos' move to the Gold Coast is good for Melbourne. No doubt the Roos will lose a few disillusioned Victorian supporters and members - obviously gaining many more in Queensland - many of whom may find another local club to support. While they may not feel as strongly for Melbourne as supporters who have grown up in the Red and Blue, perhaps their children may. It may not happen within the next three or four years, but a less crowded Melbourne is good for all clubs - particularly the Demons and the Dogs.

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A good,if scary, read Jack.

My concern is that Melbourne is too unspecific as a location.

Would it be better if we were to identify with a specific area such as Bentliegh, Oakliegh, Sunbury, Sandringham or Caulfield?

If we keep to being "just" Melbourne, will we find Local Governments getting behind other clubs more ready to brand a suburb as their own?

I think the club should try harder to visit primary schools in the above areas and promote harder.

My son had AusKick for the first time this year in Carnegie and his jumper was one of few Demons.

There was one visit to the Junction Oval which many didnt attend. A visual presence is what is needed.

I shudder to think what it would be like in Pascoe Vale or Kew.

A good friend is now a retired Preps teacher. She shamelessly tried to persuade her preps kids to go for the cats at Carnegie PS.

She believes he got them young and they stayed. This illistrates to me that there is not enough positive pressure in those areas we could win.

We need to fiercely retain traditional ties. And we arent.

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What the 2008 draw has shown me is that the AFL is happy to tollerate and prop us up, but in terms of really trying to make us sustainable for the future and making it so that we can support ourselves they aren't going to help us get to that position.

Maybe this is a conspiricy theory, but a theory none the less, i think the AFL want to keep us under their control so that if there is a market for relocating a team they have us as a team that cannot function without AFL hand outs. It's essentially what they are doing with the Roos, they're saying if they don't move up they won't continue to support them.

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If, indeed, the Roos do move North, that will certainly leave us as just about the most vulnerable in terms of possible future relocations.

Despite us being "Melbourne", it appears to me that the AFL cares little for us and is not emotionally attached to the idea of maintaining a club by that name.

What we need is a groundswell of real support for our club in its 150th year. This means thousands more supporters turning up to normally low-attendance games at the 'G, the Dome and even at Geelong. We can no longer afford crowds of around 20,000 and the embarrassment of few Demon supporters turning up to away games at the Dome and almost none at Kardinia Park.

We need at least 40,000 minimum to every MCG game, 20,000 of us at away games at the Dome and some noticeable support at our game in Geelong.

We need our entire supporter base to get behind the MFC, starting 2008, whether we are winning or not.

we are not the next most vulnerable team, the Bulldogs are and if any team is going to the western burbs of Sydney, they are

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Its sort of interesitng how over the years some teams have cut the umbilcal cords to their natural home with generic stle changes of names.. WE HAVENT, never will !!.

Melbourne has never had the numbers of other clubs..its only some real success thats been lacking.. Thats about to change.

The more initiatives are followed in the light of brandig this team...such as overseas exposre and similar lateral thinkings the more we will be concreted to this city.

I am fully confident we are never going anywhere....ever !!....except possibly up !! :)

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When North Melbourne became "The Kangaroos" its was all over from there for them. This was the first step in de-melbournising them. If anyone puts up a name change to OUR club we have to fight tooth and nail as it will probably be the first of many small changes to remove Melbourne from Melbourne.

As many posters already have said its about money; and money flows from bums on seats.

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But I think that the Kangaroos' move to the Gold Coast is good for Melbourne.

It sure is. It seems Victoria is over-populated, and if it's someone else it means it is not us.

And the moment the roos go north the dee's should be offering major discounts to current north members not wanting to follow them north, even 3,000 switching over would be worth a ot of money for the club.

Interesting idea.

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Got to feel sorry for diehard Nth Melb FC supporters for events of yesterday! Deja Vu Fitzroy situation.

pretty blunt instrument being aimed at the NMFC Board's head!!! The ONE & only thing which prevents AFL taking over NMelb is the restricted membership whichwas set up in Bob Ansett's time. Is a stumbling block and AFL has not been able to acquire. Major shareholders may also prevent NMFC capitulating.

Whilst would hate to be in Roos supporters position - if Roos dont capitulate I fear we would not be far from danger of being in their position!

My Concerns are:

Reality is that Roos, Western Bulldogs and MFC are the 3 least financial clubs.

If AFL carries out its threat of starting a 17th club on the gold coast - would clearly be that number for short term only and AFL would "engineer" a reduction over time. least financial clubs in the gun.

Also the distribution of AFL dividends would be divided 17 ways and the gap between strong and weaker clubs will widen. MFC is financially break even at the current level of funding & so would be in loss without increased AFL support. Cant see the AFL keeping up the safety net if have to fund Southport!

MFC is underpinned by "contributions" from MCC. Whilst I would not envisage MCC wanting to cutting the relationship with MFC, I can envisage the AFL "leaning" on the MCC in the future - especially over retaining Grand Final!!

We should all note and the MFC Admin MUST do everything possible to continue the re-structuring of the MFC during the next 3 years (DB's tenture) to ensure MFC is put on a sustainable base & able to field a competitive side. MFC needs more than ever to DEMONstrtate that there is benefit for MFC supporters to sign up as members and remain members. Cant beome complacent or think the job is done or MFC is safe until we win our next flag!!

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Kangas going North actually is good for MFC.... one less to share the Melbourne pie. I have the feeling that this is the long term goal of the afl.. to reduce the number of melbourne based teams this enusres surivial of those left..

Next stop doggies to parramatta !! lol

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But that's TonyMelb's point, the roos haven't agreed to go and the AFL is going to put a team up there either way whether it's the Roos or a brand new team. Should a new team be installed there it would make us more vulnerable if we if not in a strong financial position as the AFL's media pie would be spread thinly.

I think we're taking the right steps to get us in a good position should a 17th team be created in the future, but it still doesn't look good for the Roos. Clearly the AFL doesn't think they can survive on current form.

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Also the distribution of AFL dividends would be divided 17 ways and the gap between strong and weaker clubs will widen. MFC is financially break even at the current level of funding & so would be in loss without increased AFL support.

You are right, but a new tv rights deal would also come in at the same time, which would probably be worth more $ then the current one. Therfore more money to go around as well.

Cant see the AFL keeping up the safety net if have to fund Southport!

Not an issue, the MFC won't be receiving the extra assistance from next year.

MFC is underpinned by "contributions" from MCC.

No we aren't. The MCC only contribute about $1 million a year I believe. A small percentage of total revenue. Although maybe any debate on the MFC's financial position should be left until we see the financial report for '07.

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there was resistance for Fitzroy to end up north

there was resistance for Swannies to go north !!

guess where both are ?? lol

my money is with the AFL onthis.. North will play out of GC in 3 years !! its what AFL wants... they have a habit of winning thses things !!

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there was resistance for Fitzroy to end up north

there was resistance for Swannies to go north !!

guess where both are ?? lol

my money is with the AFL onthis.. North will play out of GC in 3 years !! its what AFL wants... they have a habit of winning thses things !!

The situation with South Melbourne was different in that SMFC was toally broke and in effect ceased to operate and they let the AFL take them awy. AFL "sold" the franchise to Dr Edelsten under the privatisation experiment. I think the NMFC shareholding structure was a partial move in same direction (& why CarltonFC took up an interest??).

Regardless of background I also think AFL will get its way in long run as ALL the financial strength and bargaining power is held by the commission.

Clear national long term strategy is (and has always been) 2 clubs in each of WA, SA, NSW and QLD in the long term which means reduction of Vic teams to 8. support and $6m incentive for MFC and HFW merger in '96, support for Canberra push (as short cut to 2 sydney teams) and now Gold Coast as means to 2nd Qld team all part of that.

Is entirely logical as for any code cant secure a foothold when only play every 2 or 3 weeks. Perth rugby league team failed for that reason & there is already a push for 2nd A league team in Melb for same reason. If there is game every week the code will increase spectators as going to a game is part of weekly ritual.

WCE and Crows have not suffered from the addition of 2nd team in their states - both for that reason and also gives people a choice of which team to support. Lot of supporters of Shockers joined cos dont like WCE (considered a bit arrogant in Perth at the time).

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I am one who's thinking is there is strength in synergy...and in this instance a second team intot he Sydney and Brisbane markets will actually help bolster the presence of the code...not dilute it.

yes I know circumstance always vary with how teams suffer their demise , but Kangas are on a similar path. They are a very poor cousin in the Melbourne family..and having ditched any refernce to Melb they all but sealed their fate i feel. ( or had tremendous foresight !! lol )

North ARE a basket case at present. Im not sure if they have a another sponsor again yet. Mazda still there.. Primus gone. Supporter base isnt terrif.. I know I know..nor ours..but we have new strategies and affiliations for cross marketing. The kanga breed is dying down here..

I think the simple facts are... the AFl will give them whatever they want if they play cagey, to go North..theywill get sfa if they persist in staying !!

It wont end up an Einstien equation as to what happens in end !!!

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The AFL have been planning the Kangas to be interstate club for years....Sydney, Canberra...Now Gold Coast

At present outside Collingwood and Essendon, no Vic Club is stand alone financially profitable. Carlton have the potential to be as do Richmond (large supporter base). Geelong will be the Victorian regional team. Hopefully Melbourne survives in some form. Bulldogs and Saints are stuffed.

The AFL will probably look like this in the future (10 years or so)

NSW 1 (3) - 2/3 City or 1 regional

QLD 1 (3) - 1 City, 1 Gold Coast, 1 FNQ/NT (Bulldogs???)

SA 2 (2) -

WA 2 (2)

Tas/NT 0 (1) - Hawks

Victoria 6 (10) - Coll, Carl, Essen, Geel, Melb (?), Rich/StK (Only 1 to stay)

There is no way Victoria can support 8 teams and will struggle to support more than five.

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