Crio’s Q: How do the awful sides of the past stack up to today’s Tigers

by Chris Riordan

Sunday’s MCG shellacking seems to have confirmed pundits’ suspicions that Richmand are easily the worst team in the comp and, with expansion concessions in place, their future is dire. This is the Club, remember, that Oracle Sheeds suggested was ready for a Flag last year!

But they are crap.

Let’s celebrate this iconic status with a revisit to other awful sides and compare them to today’s Tiges.


  1. Crio – The Cats in the 70s were pretty crap. As I recall we used to have massive battles with North Melbourne and Melbourne and the Saints for the wooden spoon. However I don’t think they were as bad as the Tigers today.

    I actually find it a bit sad that the new clubs will be handed draft pickings and expanded player pools whereas the Tigers will be made to grovel and scrape with the AFL for their survival. They’re starting to look a bit like Fitzroy which should concern every Tiger fan.

  2. Cats were also poor in the early / mid eighties. couldn’t beat a drum

  3. John Butler says


    As you would remember, the Royce-Hart-coached Doggies team in the early 80’s was pretty ordinary.

    I know some die-hards who are still quick to rage at the memory.

    The Blues also had some very ordinary times in the last decade.

    But Richmond…

  4. Darren Smith says

    The Tige’s have a long way to go yet – they can only be truly considered historically crap when their record stands the test of time. From memory, the Saints had a period of 3 wooden spoons in 4 years (80’s?)in a time before draft pick rewards, and the biggest interest as a supporter was how many goals Hawthorn discard Mark Scott kicked at Full Forward(part of the Russell Green trade); truly craptacular ! Richmond however, seem capable of creating a record of historical significance in the coming years.

  5. Djarindjin Jerker says

    After Round 11 in 1980 the Doggies were 0-11. Stars such as Loveless, Groenewegen and Tweedddale just weren’t making an impact. An annus horribilis.

  6. Dave Nadel says

    None of us ever saw University play before World War One, but I doubt if any side will equal their performance. North Melbourne and Hawthorn set some pretty low standards during their first twenty-five years in the VFL. South Melbourne before they moved to Sydney, St Kilda for most of their existence apart from late fifties, sixties and early seventies. Fitzroy’s last few years in the AFL were tragic but they had the excuse that the AFL was encouraging other clubs to poach their best players. Richmond may be dire when they were once were Dyer but they have a long way to go before they plumb the depths of some of the clubs I have mentioned above.

  7. I enjoyed some of their footy on Sunday during the first half and they have some good players to come back but Melbourne, early favs for the spoon, bullied Richmond with size and experience!

  8. Irony, Jerker, in that 1980 was the last flag for Richmond.

  9. Darren Smith says

    Saints lost their first 48 games; University their last 51 !

  10. Now, I won’t deny how terrible Richmond are at the moment. But I’d say that Adelaide, for instance, is in a worse situation. After McLeod, Goodwin, Edwards and Burton go, they are going to be very weak, and they won’t get much help from the draft either.

  11. I think this is where “Who cares?” enters the discussion!

  12. Put it this way. Has there ever been a shorter priced favourite for the wooden spoon after round 4 ?
    One betting agency has allegedly paid out already!

  13. Peter Flynn says

    The Swans from about 92-94 weren’t flash.

  14. I’m basing my judgement on Richmond from only a few observations…my visit to the MCG on Sunday, general media derision and a bookie’s decision to payout now on all wooden spoon bets.
    Richmond had some good moments and some good players on Sunday and will improve when Cousins, Foley and Newman return.
    Some of their footy in the first half was impressive and young Nason had the crowd buzzing with his running and bravery. But it was schoolboy footy and both teams seemed to relish the relative lack of intensity presented by other side.
    Tiger energy and resolve folded as the game went on. With their better players back behind the ball and those like Riewoldt so wasteful up front, it was a thankless task. Highly ranked newbie, Dustin Martin, who at least has a sturdy frame, was another whose ball use was poor.
    All players were shown up by Alwyn Davey who appeared to have a different footy. His class, poise and skill was a league above all others. Melbourne, a relatively young side, looked so much stronger and more experienced. Those draft picks, Scully and Trengove, waxed and look to be real stars but will find it tougher against top sides.
    Richmond is really in strife. They’ve had plenty of draft picks and, Cotchin aside, still look way off the pace. Oakley-Nicholls is back in Perth and Jordy’s running around with Coburg’s magoos.
    I accept that someone has to lose and that trends are cyclical, but Richmond are our Newcastle United. A giant failure.
    Plough’s now a respected analyst and Sheeds is still a wacky visionary.
    But Tiger supporters are stuck in a black hole. The bookies are usually right.

  15. Dave Nadel says

    Crio. That last comment insults Newcastle United who will be back in the Premier League next season and probably a lot closer to Man United and Chelsea than the Tigers will be to Geelong and St Kilda by the end of next season. Go the (English) Pies!

  16. Crio, how many wins do you honestly think the Tigers will get this year?

    Anyway, I believe Richmond 2004 was worse than Richmond 2010. Tim Fleming. Aaron Fiora. Ty Zantuck. Justin Blumfield. Luke Weller. Shane Morrison. Tom Roach. Simon Fletcher. Ben Marsh. Bill Nicholls. Duds and recycled hacks galore, considerably more than now. I rest my case.

    Also, since when was Plough “respected”?

  17. Adam.
    1- you are right
    2- since he does his own publicity

  18. Tony Roberts says

    Dave is quite right to point out the error of Crio (at No. 14) likening Richmond to Newcastle United in the failure stakes.

    For the epic trajectory of their long-term fall from the 70s and early 80s, when they were universally feared and reviled in equal measure, the only possible soccer comparison to the Tigers would be LEEDS United, not Newcastle (whose only fault – unbeknown to them – is their Magpies nickname).

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