We Don’t Bloody Like You

‘We don’t bloody like you’ said Sydney.

‘Well, we don’t bloody like you’ replied Collingwood.

The simmering tensions between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood have been bubbling away like a sadistic mythological potion for a long time now. The rivalry can be traced back to the inaugural VFA Grand Final in 1896 when South Melbourne went down narrowly, six goals to five. However, it is the modern day rivalry that is capturing the imaginations of supporters from both sides. We just don’t like each other, it seems.

With Swan blood pulsing through my veins, the reasons for this acrimony are vehemently clear (I’m sure those of the black & white persuasion may have differing views). And with a first round battle scheduled to take place in two weeks’ time, what better time to stir the metaphorical pot?

Let’s start with the Magpies’ recent domination of matches played at that most popular of venues, ANZ Stadium. For year upon year, a black and white army would descend upon Homebush for their annual collection of four points. Sergeant Major Malthouse would orchestrate a blockade upon the Swans’ 50 metre line. Impenetrable. The ambush of the home side’s goal would then arrive courtesy of an artillery battery including Corporals Didak, Cloke and Thomas. Resistance was futile and my team was often left to dust off and approach the match with nothing but forlorn hope. This would only result in some last ditch ‘Guerrilla tactics’, all to no avail. And this dominance did not only occur on the battlefield, but also in the stands. Commodore ‘Joffa’ Corfe, would arrive in the black and white stripes, revel in three hours of tyranny and leave, rejoicing in his sparkling golden coat. As a regular eyewitness to this insufferable treatment, the pain is still palpable.

Is this reason enough to dislike an opposition football club? Well, yes. But wait, there’s more. There’s so much more.

Mr Edward McGuire has presided over the fortunes of the Collingwood Football Club since 1998. During this time his running battles with Sydney presidents Colless & Pridham has provided a constant source of entertainment. As a true “white knight” of the football industry, his quest for “equalisation” has been commendable. Commendable for the purposes of self-interest, certainly not for the betterment of the game itself. McGuire recently embarked on a crusade to call for the disbandment of the cost of living allowance, and proved successful. As a result of this decision, the Swans also received a two-year trading ban. This remains unexplained.

The heavy-hitters from the Holden Centre have also proved vociferous in their criticism of the Sydney Swans Academy. I am sure the realisation that the Swans have picked up two top-five draft picks in successive years is horrifying. Forget the draft concessions that have been in place over the past few years, this is THE big issue. A system that was designed by a committee, which in fact, included Collingwood’s own Derek Hine, simply must be stopped. Isn’t that right? How dare these clubs develop young talent with an aim to increase the talent pool, and provide more New South Wales and Queensland kids with the opportunity to be drafted to clubs across Australia and get away with it? Perhaps the Pies are worried that they won’t be able to pilfer these locally raised players as they can with young Victorians who claim they just want to ‘go home’?

Most recently, Collingwood’s CEO, Gary Pert prepared to file an expense claim to the offices of the Swans due to the relocation of their Round 1 match in the New South Wales capital. In what can only be described as an administrative masterstroke, all Sydney Swans home matches will now be played at the iconic and immensely popular Sydney Cricket Ground. Gary didn’t like the fact that the Pies weren’t notified. He probably also didn’t like the fact that the match was moved from ANZ Stadium, a soulless pit in which his club has thrived. And, in a moment of supreme comedy, he objected to the cost of accommodation in Sydney. Wow. I’m sorry Mr. Pert, do we owe you our consideration? Should we have your club’s interests at heart when negotiating impressively beneficial deals of our own?

And how could I forget, two days after our own favourite son, Adam Goodes, was racially vilified on the opening night of Indigenous Round in 2013, the Collingwood president suggested he could play the leading role in the King Kong musical. Classy. When a thinly-veiled apology was somehow magically accepted by the general public, McGuire’s influence on the football media became indisputable. The fact that he has used this influence to continually insinuate that the club had cheated in its use of the COLA and in turn, insulted every member of staff that has worked its backside off to make the club the success that it is today, is just another reason why we just don’t like you, Collingwood. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

This antagonistic tug-of-war between the two clubs has at times, become all consuming for the supporters of each. At one stage, in a perverse twist of fate, I found myself positioned at Mr McGuire’s residence, to attend his son Danny’s birthday celebrations, surrounded by Magpies players, arm in arm and belting out a riotous rendition of ‘Oh Danny Boy’. This was of course a dream (nightmare, perhaps) that proved the fact that Collingwood were infiltrating my most intimate thoughts, and also proved that dreaming is most certainly an INVOLUNTARY action!

So, there you have it. I know many Collingwood people. I like many Collingwood people. But, when it comes to our good ol’ fashioned footy rivalry, we don’t bloody like them, and they don’t bloody like us. Roll on, Round 1.




About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    I don’t like you.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    We haven’t forgiven you for 1918, Joe. Looking forward to a cracking opener. Cheers

  3. Should be a belter, Phil. The Pies are looking strong this year.

  4. george smith says

    Nine glorious victories at ANZ as opposed to 1 win in 15 years at that gridlocked hell-hole. Enjoy your trip home everybody – on the bus.

    Sadly our fortresses – Victoria Park, ANZ, and Footy Park Adelaide
    have gone one by one. That’s progress folks. We have gone from Bob Hawkes to Billy Sneddens in one fell swoop…

    No more impossible come from behind victories, no more magical transformations of the crowd from red and white to black and white halfway through the last quarter…

    Hope we can start a new tradition at the SCG but history is against it. (Nightmares about Michael O’loughlan.)

  5. Joe Moore says

    George, I much prefer your record at the ‘gridlocked hellhole’. After witnessing many of those ANZ victories, here’s hoping a new tradition at the SCG doesn’t eventuate…..
    Best of luck in a couple of weeks, should be a beauty.

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