AFL Round 8 – Richmond v Melbourne: The Sara Lee Cup

Has there ever been a game that put everyone in such a no-win situation?

If the Tigers won, Melbourne would sink further into crisis and no-one wants to see one of the VFL’s founding clubs fold. If the Tigers lost, they’d face their own crisis after capitulating to a basket case that a week earlier lost to Gold Coast by ten goals at home (at least we only did it in Cairns).

As a Richmond fan, I saw beating Melbourne as like taking candy from a baby with no arms. Any pleasure in scoring the loot is lost tenfold knowing you’ve taken it from an opponent bereft of any defence. Where’s the satisfaction in that?

Others saw it differently. My husband Brian has no sympathy whatsoever for what he sees as a bunch of privileged blue bloods who couldn’t organise a root in a brothel even if daddy bought them one.  

“Don’t ever have sympathy for Melbourne; the blueblood bullshit that they go on with,” he ranted before the game. “They’re all MCC wankers and they don’t give any money to their own club. I want us to smash them. They’ve made they’re bed so they have to lie in it.”

He did have a point.

How does a club supposedly supported by the top end of town never have any money? And why do clubs like Collingwood, with working class roots, fare much better financially?

The loony left in me likes to generalise that those on lower incomes are often more generous with their time and money and that there is good reason why some people are loaded – they are basically tight arses.

Sure some rich people are incredibly generous and give millions to charity. But where have all the Melbourne Football Club benefactors been over the past 50 years? How many well-heeled Demons have given their time, money or expertise to reinstate this once proud club as an AFL power?

Judging by their perilous state at the moment, clearly too few.

Joe Gutnik made a big contribution and many fans stood up for Jim Stynes’ debt demolition that cleared the club;’s $5 million debt. But Melbourne has struggled on and off the field since the mid-1960s and despite the efforts of Gutnick, Stynes and a few others is still far from flush with cash.

Grass roots fans are also at fault. Melbourne constantly hovers near the bottom of the membership table, an indictment on supporters of all socio-economic levels. Sadly, this might be what kills the club. It was literally the death of Fitzroy. The Lions were everyone’s sentimental favourite but too few bought memberships, took out sponsorships, helped out, protested or turned up to games when it counted.

When administrations implode at footy clubs, fans usually mobilise. They protest. Raise Money. Petition the AFL. Stand for the Board. Anything to save their club. But this year too many Melbourne fans of all types have been conspicuous in their silence. To borrow a phrase from John Kennedy Senior, they need to DO SOMETHING.

I really hope I’m wrong and that an army of volunteer Demons is beavering away behind the scenes to raise money and work on solutions to help their club. I’d love to stand corrected on this. But from what we’ve heard it does not appear to be happening.

With Melbourne in more trouble than the early settlers, many had pencilled this game in as a Richmond win. But it was never a gimme. Memories of two losses to Gold Coast still lingered for Tiger fans and began to re-surface throughout the first three quarters.

Richmond was insipid early and the Demons lifted, playing much tighter footy and refusing to allow the Tigers to kick away. Both teams tried hard but there were more turnovers than a Sara Lee factory.

Aaron Davey and Nathan Jones annoyed the crap out of Richmond fans, getting plenty of it and in Davey’s case kicking three goals in the first half. Chris Dawes kicked two in the first quarter. At half time there was just seven points in it, despite Richmond having seven more scoring shots.

The Tigers started the third quarter with four straight points. Wasteful kicking and an inability to put the opposition away saw the Dees still in it at three quarter time. The difference was 22 points and 16 scoring shots.

In the end Richmond did its best to throw the game away and Melbourne tried hard but wasn’t good enough. As expected, the highlights were few and far between: Brandon Ellis’s 39 disposals, Tyrone Vickery’s bursts of speed, Davey’s flashes of brilliance and Jeremy Howe’s huge specky.

The Tigers got their regulation win, but 34 points was not enough to break even in a game that should have been beyond doubt at quarter time. Demons fans, all of whom deserve medals for turning up after last week’s shellacking, left relieved that their team didn’t capitulate.

If it had coach Mark Neeld would have been on the chopping block, yet another scapegoat for a club that needs help from top to bottom.

But they should not have been satisfied either. Until more Melbourne fans with something to offer actually help their club, whether it be via membership, sponsorship, management expertise or cold hard cash, it will remain in dire straits.

RICHMOND            2.4   7.9   12.14   15.16 (106)
MELBOURNE         3.0   7.2   10.4     11.6   (72)

Riewoldt 3, Martin 3, King 2, Deledio, Nahas, Ellis, Vlastuin, Morris, White, Chaplin
Melbourne: Davey 3, Dawes 2, Dunn 2, Nicholson, Bail, Howe, Evans

Ellis, Vlastuin, Deledio, Grigg, Houli, Cotchin
Melbourne:  N. Jones, Davey, Magner, Terlich, M. Jones.

Umpires: McBurney, Hosking, Foot    CROWD: 39,148 at the MCG

OUR VOTES Ellis (Richmond) 3, Jones (Melbourne) 2, Vlastuin (R), 1.


  1. Debt Demolition only raised $1M for the Club??? And here I was, thinking we’d put in well over $5M to clear the debt position of the Club (at that time).

    Good to see you bothered to do your research.

    What went through your head here: “Talk about the game, or give Melbourne another kicking? Let’s give Melbourne another kicking.”

  2. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Chris I found that figure in a newspaper article but will have a look and get them to change it if it’s wrong. I’m not bagging the club but observing that over the years Melbourne fans have allowed it to reach the point it has now. When Collingwood was down Eddie McGuire mobilised the troops and built a really strong club. When Richmond was down fans organised tin shakes and attempted to get onto the board. When the Bulldogs were going to merge with Fitzroy fan Irene Chatfield almost singlehandedly stopped that from happening. Apart from the high profile examples I mentioned there just doesn’t seem to be that same sense or urgency at Melbourne. I do hope I’m wrong but it does not seem like there is.

  3. Now that Richmond are so flush can I have a refund on the $2 I put into a tin to keep you alive in the early 90’s?

  4. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Supermercado I never said Richmond was “flush”. We still have debt issues but when the club was seriously on its knees 20 years ago it was grass roots fans that saved it. We’ve also had lots of people trying to improve the way the club is run, many of them in their own time at their own cost. It has improved the club although there is still a way to go. Melbourne seems to be going downhill fast which no-one wants to see. Some Melbourne people have done amazing work but they need more from fans who haven’t contributed.

  5. Ah yes, where would footy writers be without stereotypes to rely on.

    Richmond claim to have 57,123 members, and 39,000 turned up to a home game. Rather than asking why Dees fans aren’t turning up and awarding a medal to those who do attend, I ask why aren’t Tiger fans turning up?

  6. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Joseph. How many 80,000+ crowds has Melbourne had in the first eight rounds this year? Richmond has already had two. Call us what you want but Richmond fans would have to be the most loyal in the league; turning up in big numbers despite only two finals series since 1982. Sadly, many did not turn up yesterday due to Melbourne’s situation. I disagree and still went, but many probably thought it would be a dud game. As for the stereotypes, I want people to show me that they are wrong. I want to hear about all the Melbourne fans now digging deep and doing what they can for their club at whatever level, whether it be corporate, management advice or simply buying memberships. I agree with what you say about memberships generally – they are all exaggerated now as the AFL counts ALL memberships, even non-game, in the overall total. Hawthorn supposedly has 65,000 plus but rarely gets a crowd over 50,000.

  7. Cheryl Critchley says

    PS Sorry I meant to say that I want Melbourne fans to show that I am wrong, not they are :-).

  8. Hi Cheryl. I’m not suggesting that the Tiges supporters aren’t loyal. I just want to know why Dees fans should fork out money to attend a Richmond home game when the Tigers fans didn’t do it either? Most of the Dees membership categories didn’t admit to yesterday’s game. I’ve got no problem with Dees fans holding onto their hard earned and spending it on tickets when we play Hawthorn in a few weeks time because then the money goes to our club and not to someone else.

    On the topic of money, your comments about Dees fans not doing anything are, with respect, incorrect. You ask what fans are doing to support the club? I can let you know that despite having an MCC membership, me (and many of my friends) also hold club memberships, and are members of different coterie groups (Melbourne Business Community and Future Fund). I forked out $100 to attend an MFC function at yesterday’s game. I guess that makes me an MCC wanker who IS giving money to his club.

    In answer to your questions “where have all the Melbourne Football Club benefactors been over the past 50 years? How many well-heeled Demons have given their time, money or expertise to reinstate this once proud club as an AFL power?”, you should google the term “Foundation Heroes”. That will answer your question. They have raised millions for the club.

    Yes, it would be nicer if we had more fans willing to do this, but we’ve lost a generation of them somewhere along the way. The club is taking initiatives to fix this, with our Casey presence, and even having players telephone junior members last week helps keep kids interested so that the next generation stays on board with the Demons.

    And on the stereotypes, I’m a country boy who’s found a job in the city and got an MCC membership, so I’m getting closer to meeting the stereotype, I just need a jacket with leather patches on the elbows and a better car than my 1996 Mazda 626.

  9. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Joseph. That’s great that you do that, but there are clearly not enough others doing the same for the club to find itself where it is now. Part of my motivation for this article was to provoke those fans who do not do anything to have a think and do something, whether it be as simple as buying a membership or offering some sort of expertise that could help (eg as a journalist I have helped my club get many stories published over the years, raised $5000 with a fan magazine etc). As for not turning up to away games, I go to every away game in Melbourne regardless of where the money goes. Your team still needs your presence and support whether it’s a home or away game.

  10. Ha ha ha, the Demon faithful must LOVE a bake from a Tiger fan! Just when they thought it couldn’t get worse. Of course your right Cheryl, clearly the Demon fans are fairweather types who keep all that money to themselves. They are the top end of town club and are broke. You do the math on where Demon fans prefer to keep their money.No excuses, I am with hubby on this one, the sooner they fold the harder I can laugh.Go Tigers!
    P.s. I can’t help but wonder if the Demon poster who chipped in 2 bux to the Tigers claimed it as a tax deduction?

  11. Cheryl

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Dees fans have put their hands in their pockets to the tune of $7 million.

    They’ve been let down by their Board, by their admin and most of all by their recruiters.

    To suggest otherwise is untrue, unreasonable and daft.

    Before you look too far down your nose at Melbourne, it’s probably a reasonable idea to mention that we (yes I’m a Tigers fan) were reliant on the very same handouts until about 24 months ago.

    When we had our debt demolition campaign it actually raised a considerable amount less than Melbourne’s. Check the figures if you don’t believe me.

    There are many people to blame for Melbourne’s mess, but their supporters aren’t even close to the top 100.

    Just like we did in the late 80’s, they rallied to save their club when asked.

    Their time will come.

    And before you announce Richmond’s second coming to the world, it might be worth waiting until we’ve achieved something. Because right now, we’ve done diddly squat for 30 years.

  12. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Sean, I have not claimed that Richmond is any better than Melbourne and have written many pieces criticising how our club has been run over the past 30 years. The observation I’m making is about where the clubs are placed now, and what appears to be a lack of passion shown by Melbourne fans regarding their current predicament. To me it is up to fans to get involved and be part of the solution. Some are, but too many obviously aren’t. when the Bulldogs were going to merge with Fitzroy, Bulldog fan Irene Chatfield literally saved her club by going to the Supreme Court to prevent it. Fans can and should get involved when their clubs need them.

  13. lee donovan says

    a great oportunity exists here to reduce the number of clubs in Melbourne. Why should rich clubs like Collingwood/ WCE , Fremantle etc pay to keep propping up these basket cases. Supporters are not turning up so its time to go

  14. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Lee I don’t want to see any clubs go. That is why I feel strongly about this. People can attack me all they like for being too harsh on some Demon fans (I know there are some who still turn up to games and do what they can) but the bottom line is not enough people are doing what it takes to keep Melbourne strong.

  15. Cheryl. Cheryl. Cheryl. You condemn Melbourne supporters for not showing up at matches, yet you can barely get your own family members to show up when Richmond play. Right? :-) Go Doggies – maybe next year! Hi to Brian and the kids.

  16. Just as an aside, the link below is to a copy of the Age from April 15, 1986. At that time the Magpies were a financial basket case themselves (as were may VFL clubs), with debts of $2.9 million – quite a sum, considering it was nearly 30 years ago.,3172707

    It’s probably naive to make direct comparisons to clubs in financial strife today but it serves as a reminder that all clubs have gone through peaks and troughs on and off the field.

  17. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Jim. Ben has been to heaps of games and he hates footy :-). Every club has loyal fans and of course Melbourne has some too.

  18. Andrew Else says


    Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled when we flogged Melbourne by 20+ goals. I was sick of seeing blokes like Sylvia grow an extra leg when they play the Bombers.

    But I think you’re being quite harsh, and as a few have pointed out, factually incorrect to the tune of many millions of dollars.

    I’ve no sympathy for the MFC at the moment. They didn’t use their picks correctly, they sacked their veterans, they made green youngsters captains and for some reason they thought they could take over China.

    And they could’ve drafted Nic Nat! My God, there is $1m in jumper sales annually right there.

    But every Demons fan I know (and I know a few) are still attending games. I won’t even go into the wide spectrum of backgrounds that these people hail from, because I think your use of stereotypes is only a means to get irate comments on your article.

    And might I say, if there are Dees fans who have decided to stop attending/buying tickets etc. I say, bloody well good on them. There is nothing wrong with boycotting a product to send a message.

    Peter Jackson has spoken about how the club needs to be stripped back due to the lack of money coming in through sponsorship and gate receipts and so big decisions will have to be made. What kind of message would the fans be sending if the money just kept rolling in? At least now the club knows what people think and how badly they’ve managed a club that obviously means a lot to many people.

    The Dees fans have done their bit. They got behind Jimmy, they dug deep and they supported a cause they believed in. Now it’s up to the club to return the favour.

    A Richmond fan preaching loyalty. Given how you like to defer to stereotypes, I’m sure you can see the irony there.

  19. Cheryl Critchley says

    Very true Gigs but people are talking about Melbourne at the moment as if they won’t be able to survive in the competition. That would never be said of a club like Collingwood. I really hope Melbourne does survive and thrive. My language was probably too strong but it frustrates me that the club is in this position and I really feel for those who love their club.

  20. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Andrew,
    You make some good points and I accept that I was probably too harsh, but now is not the time for fans to desert their club as it will only make things worse. Those with expertise should be helping and working out ways to do things better. It’s not just about money. Your friends might be attending but there were embarrassingly few Melbourne fans at yesterday’s game and it doesn’t matter that it was an away game. If Melbourne fans stop going they might as well give up as it’ll cut off their nose to spite their face.

  21. Pamela Sherpa says

    Why should fans be continually expected to donate money to ineptly managed clubs ?

  22. Cheryl Critchley says

    It’s not just the money Pamela. I haven’t expressed myself very well (apologies for that) but it just seems like too many Melbourne people have given up and are allowing things to deteriorate even further. Yes the crisis could be the fault of an inept administration, but if fans don’t step in things may not improve. Several clubs have been saved/improved by fans with the means and/or motivation, whether it be by protest (Irene Chatfield/Bulldogs), a million dollar tin shake (Richmond 1989/90 Save our Skins organised by fan Alice Wills) or overhauling the club (Eddie McGuire at Collingwood). We shouldn’t have to accept or pay for an inept administration but doing nothing could make things worse.

  23. Stainless says

    I don’t think there’s much to be gained from this line of argument. Every club has its share of fairweather fans and unshakeably loyal supporters. Every club is also at risk of mismanagement – God knows, we’ve experienced more than enough. There are myriad occasions where I can recall inept Richmond teams being belted in front of paltry crowds (look at the membership numbers and attendances in years like 1987 – we weren’t always that loyal). It’s hard to keep the faith when you know full well that administrative incompetence has put your club in such a parlous position that there is no prospect of reversing this situation any time soon. That we’re not currently in this position doesn’t give us any reason for bagging (or for that matter lamenting) the plight of another club. ‘There but for the grace of God…’ and all that.

    Far better I think to focus on our own slow but steady progress, which can allow us the luxury of being disappointed with a 6 goal win.

  24. Cheryl Critchley says

    That’s true Stainless and I guess I’m guilty of being passionate about footy and expecting others to show that same passion, especially when the chips are down. I still went to games in 1987, which was a time when club memberships were much lower all round. I used to be pleased if we were less than 10 goals behind at half time. We were crap and crowds were crap, but it was also the catalyst for the fan-driven Save Our Skins campaign. I just hope that Melbourne works its way through the current crisis, and everyone needs to get behind the club for it to succeed.

  25. Stainless says

    I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned the fact that the Melbourne membership voted in favour of the merger with Hawthorn. I wonder how many of them wish the Melbourne Hawks had gone ahead?

  26. Cheryl Critchley says

    I was going to mention that era but would have had my head bitten off. It was Don Scott who drove the move to squash the merger, who showed more passion than anyone at that time. Did the Melbourne membership actually support it or was it Board/management?

  27. Stainless says

    The management certainly supported it but as I recall the membership vote was actually in favour of the merger. As you say, it was the Don Scott crusade at Hawthorn that scuppered the proposal.

    Perhaps this illustration disproves what I was saying before. When it came to the crunch it seems that Hawthorn’s supporters were far more prepared to stand for their independence than Melbourne’s.

  28. Chris Weaver says

    Re 1996 – it was the board and management.

    The only way you could oppose the merger if you were a Melbourne FC member was by voting on the night.

    So guess what Ian Ridley’s board did? They booked Dallas Brooks Hall – which had a tiny seating capacity – for the EGM. Thousands were locked out on the night and prevented from voting. In the end, absentee ballots (which could only favour the board) got the pro-merger lobby up.

    I’m not going to add much more about it, because I think this thread has reached the point where no one is going to be swayed from their original beliefs. It took 12 years for the intra-club recriminations to even begin ebbing away. The effect that had on the Melbourne FC was devastating.

    Cheryl – you made a few very broad and ignorant statements about Melbourne fans in your piece. Your mealy-mouthed attempts to back away from them don’t do you much credit.

    Fans of all clubs represent very broad churches and in the case of the AFL, every Victorian club has had those fans serve them honourably during tough times.

  29. Cheryl Critchley says

    Thanks Chris. I really hope Melbourne does improve and that those who can help do so. I was speaking as a passionate fan who does not like to see any team in such a position. I have friends and relatives who follow Melbourne and they are loyal fans who attend most games, and as a Richmond fan whose club has also seen too many tough times (which I have written about extensively) I share their frustration. If everyone bands together as clubs have done in the past then hopefully they will get through it.

  30. Stainless says

    Point taken Chris.

    Thanks for explaining how the merger vote was handled at Melbourne. I brought it up simply because, pondering the vague concept of loyalty, it struck me as a rare case where, nominally at least, the commitment of two supporter groups was actually put to the test and the results were different.

    From your explanation, we clearly can’t admit this as evidence of anything to do with supporter loyalty. However, it does illustate that passion and loyalty are no guarantee against incompetent management or the pusuit of agendas that are contrary to the views of the membership. This is a risk that every club supporter must be mindful of.

  31. Cheryl Critchley says

    That is true Stainless, but what when administrations are failing it is important for fans who can do something about it to do so, however minor the contribution. Some fans have the means to help, whether it be by protesting, buying memberships, standing for the board or offering expertise. I really hope this happens at Melbourne as they need it now more than ever.

  32. “Hmm, how can I bag out an entire club’s supporter base with stereotypes without any research beyond my ‘observations’. I know, I’ll quote my husband’s musings to add some weight to things I made up.” Wrong on Debt Demolition, wrong on memberships and wrong on your generalisations about why clubs have financial stability. Yes, the MFC is in a very perilous position, but to suggest it’s somehow the fans’ fault proves you’ve totally missed the point. That’s exactly why fans are so apathetic, because they’ve given so much in recent years and the only thing they’ve got in return is the impression that their club’s management on-field and off is an omnishambles. “And why do clubs like Collingwood, with working class roots, fare much better financially?” The real answer to your question is: sound management, healthy membership and a f*load of pokies. Oh well, at least you didn’t mention us all going to the snow in our Range Rovers.

  33. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Martin. I have not bagged the whole supporter base and know there are loyal Demons fans out there. Neither have I blamed fans for the club’s management. I am saying that they should not just sit back and watch their club implode. Kick me all you like for starting a debate, but the fact is Melbourne Football Club has lurched from crisis to crisis for the past 50 years and if not for the likes of Joe Gutnick and Jim Stynes, who led the campaign to wipe the club’s debt (and who allowed it to get to $5 million in the first place?), it would probably be in an even worse position. Apathy is not the answer. Yes I resorted to stereotypes, but as well as average fans Melbourne indisputably has many well-heeled supporters – 20,000 MCC members support Melbourne, the highest number of any team. But in recent memory Melbourne has not been one of the richer clubs. Why? And despite the Jim Stynes-spurred spike your membership numbers are still low – 32,268 as of today (six weeks from the cut-off date). In 2012 it fell by four per cent to 35,489 (similar to St Kilda and Port and 35,000 less than Collingwood). If you are happy with these numbers then fine. Sure the club made a small profit of $77,618 last year, but if things continue as they are that may not be the case at the end of this year. Apathy is not the answer. Protest. Stand for the Board. Volunteer your expertise. Why should fans be immune from helping clubs, no matter how badly they are run? I thought we were members (that is if you are paid up), not consumers. If you want your club to be soundly managed, be part of the solution.

  34. The oddest thing in this thread is the assumption that we’re somehow skint and are about to have the whole placed shuttered up. Granted we’re going to get hammered this season, and granted that plenty of the recent results have been propped up by fundraising – but here’s our financial results from the last four years.

    2009 – +$567,132
    2010 – +$724,458
    2011 – +$135,976
    2012 – +$77,618

    Not to mention merging with the Bentleigh Club to give us an $8m asset on the books. This year is going to be grim, and if there are too many more like it then we’ll need saving but for now we’re hanging on without the debt collectors kicking the door in.

    No need for any of that though, let’s just bash stereotypes about how how all Melbourne fans are “blue bloods” and enemies of the left. If your hit count has been successfully boosted by this post I suggest throwing a mention of snow in next time as well.

  35. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Supermercado. I don’t care less about hits. I’ve simply heard enough discussion by people close to the club, in and out of the media, to know that it still has serious problems on and off the field despite the debt demolition boosting its coffers. If they continue, particularly if the coach is sacked, the finance situation could quickly deteriorate again. I am genuinely concerned for the club, just as I am for my own (which still has its issues, which I have publicly aired many times). I acknowledge that I expressed myself badly but the basic premise that some fans with the means and/or expertise could have done more now and in the past is not outrageous. It doesn’t have to be a big contribution. If, over the years, 10,000 more adult fans had bought memberships that’s close to $2 million a year in today’s money and would have reduced some of the financial pressure of the early 2000s.

  36. C’mon, Cheryl. Are we reading the same article?
    “I have not bagged the whole supporter base” except when you said your husband had a point in saying “‘They’re all MCC wankers and they don’t give any money to their own club”. “Neither have I blamed fans for the club’s management” but then “Why should fans be immune from helping clubs, no matter how badly they are run?” and also “Grass roots fans are also at fault.”

    As for memberships, granted the coming years could (will) be abysmal. But in recent years, numbers have been ok. Compare 32k-35k for a club with no geographic home and no silverware to Geelong’s 40k which has an entire city to draw upon and one of the most successful teams in history. Or St Kilda’s 35k after several GF tilts. And there’s only one other team for 35k Port to compete with. RFC’s membership is certainly something to be proud of, and sure MFC’s could be higher, but blaming MFC issues on member numbers during a period of relative strength in that area is a bit silly.

    It’s also pretty ridiculous to keep citing a lack of people power (because we’re all rich tightarses) for the team’s on-field perfomance given your article immediately followed Peter Jackson basically coming out and citing mismanagement. Fair play to you for responding to criticism but these logic fails give lefty types like me a bad name ;-)

  37. Cheryl

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s pretty impressive that you take the time to back your article, respond to critics immediately and point out that your own club (and mine) is far from perfect.

    The Almanac is about passion and having an opinion, and standing by that we it isn’t popular with some. We don’t all have to agree; wouldn’t it be boring if we did.

    If you can dish it out, but also take it, and stand up for yourself, well played.


  38. P.S: Different sean to May 20, 3.43pm comment

    Sean C

  39. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Martin. I’m going to have to stop replying soon as I’ve spent too much time on this, but I have acknowledged that I came across as too negative (I am certainly guilty of being too passionate about footy) but I did not blame fans for Melbourne’s on-field performance and I did not condemn them all. What I said was apathy killed Fitzroy and could be putting Melbourne at risk. I said Melbourne fans who turned up to the game on Saturday deserved medals and that MORE fans (not all fans) need to get involved or agitate to help improve how the club is run. You guys are twisting my words now. The way some people here are talking you’d think Melbourne was making $5 million profits.

  40. Cheryl Critchley says

    Thanks Sean. I know the article was too emotional and it’s fair enough that I get bagged for raising stereotypes, even if Melbourne does have the most MCC members, but I am genuinely concerned that over the past 50 years the club has suffered from the apathy of some of its fans and some of them are well off and could do more. That’s not to say other clubs don’t have the same problem; they probably all have fans who could do more but don’t. PS. Dermott Brereton has been promoted on SEN all week saying that no-one has “stood up” to really help Melbourne since Jim Stynes passed away.

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