Tag Archives: Carlton Football Club

NMFC 1881: Carlton buries the hatchet

Reverend Shinboner continues his review of the 1881 season of North Melbourne Football Club – a season full of colour, glory, mischief and controversy.

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Filed under History

The Man Behind the Stadium Deal

Eugene Arocca has spoken out today on the crap Docklands Stadium deal. Again. Through relentlessly hammering the issue, even the most naive AFL follower is getting the idea that the stadium deal negotiated by the AFL all those years ago is shafting the clubs that play there.

But in reflecting on the issue, it is clear to me that no one is taking responsibility for the shamozzle, and no journo is prepared to point the finger. Perhaps the occasional reference to ‘past AFL administrations’, but that’s about it.

I think it’s time someone told the truth. It’s time someone told all footy followers who shafted Victorian football: Ian Collins.

Take a quick look at this brief fact file:

  • Ian Collins held the position of AFL Football Operations Manager (ie. No. 2 man at AFL HQ) between 1993-99, a critical period in the initial negotiations on the Docklands stadium deal.
  • In 1999, he moved on to become the inaugural CEO of Stadium Operations Ltd. (the company that owns Docklands Stadium), a position he still holds.
  • In 2002, Collins headed a ‘reform’ group that successfully ousted John Elliott from the Carlton Board. Shortly after, rumours emerge that it was the Collins group which leaked confidential Carlton documents to the AFL exposing the salary cap breach (which led to the public humiliation of Elliott and the imposition of massive draft and financial penalties on Carlton FC.)
  • In 2005, the Collins led Carlton administration decides to turn its back on Princes Park in favour of Docklands. It signals the end of the suburban VFL/AFL grounds and creates the MCG/Docklands duopoly.
  • In 2009, finally realising the severity of the issue, the AFL funds a feasibility study into getting Princes Park back to AFL standards.

Ironically, it was pointed out that of all the tenant clubs at Docklands, Carlton get the worst deal. But I suppose no one can question Ian Collin’s service to Stadium Operations Ltd. can they?

1993 and 1999

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Filed under Off Field

North Melbourne vs Carlton: Dismal?

North peeps have been excited about the forthcoming 2009 season more than usual. But on Friday night North got flogged. Not in a glamorous way; in a slow, directionless and pathetic way. In contrast, Carlton looked young, exciting and purposeful. There were some particularly concerning signs for North:

  • Full back – Josh Gibson played at full back most of the night; Fev dominated. Where was the much-hyped new look backline with either Nather Grima (not playing) or ‘Hunter’ S. Thompson (beaten on the half back line) at full back?
  • Ruck – McIntosh and Goldstein have been earmarked as a potentially dominate rucking combination. Hitouts to advantage seemed to go Carlton’s way, and around the ground the influence of H and Goldy was negligent.
  • The need for speed – Wellsy’s pace was sparkling. He was alone.
  • Handball, handball, handball – Too many shit handballs. No apparent structure out of the middle or going forward.

But in truth, it all could be a good sign. Early in Laidley’s reign North always showed up to play in the pre-season cup needing whatever membership boost they could get. In the lead-up to Friday’s match, Laidley made it clear that North’s pre-season training came before winning a glorified practice match. As well as the obvious physical effects this would have on the players, there’d be a significant psychological impact and it showed. But there are two far more important deductions that can be made from this: (1) the footy department have high expectations for 2009, and (2) the administration are backing them to the hilt. Perhaps the administration have finally realised that if NMFC need to win pre-season matches to attract members than they’ve already lost the battle?

Despite my disappointment on Friday night, I take the optimistic view.


Filed under On Field