A Tale Of Two Teams, One City (Media Street)

Go Roos!

North Melbourne fight to survive…

No Pants!

…while Melbourne players can’t even afford to buy pants!

Melbourne is widely described at ‘the home of football’, particularly by old locals who have rarely travelled any further north than Windy Hill or further west than Kardinia Park. And with the 2008 season just one week away, there is a feeling that the balance of power within the AFL, once held by dominant ‘interstate’ clubs such as Brisbane, Sydney and West Coast, could be swinging back Victoria’s way now.

Geelong – yes. Collingwood – probably. And St Kilda is now a preseason powerhouse. But for those clubs who feature the name ‘Melbourne’, ‘powerhouse’ would not be the descriptive word of choice. In fact, if you just replaced ‘power’ with ‘shit’ (for example), you are probably on the right track.

Look at the Demons – new coach but little has happened in the preseason to suggest a new age is dawning for the Dees. In fact, this online poll has them favoured to finish dead last. If it wasn’t for guys like Brock McLean and Colin Sylvia providing some headlines, you would almost forget they were fielding a team this year.

Not only do they lack a high profile and have one of the lowest membership bases in the comp, they currently have no CEO and no home to call their own. They are probably best known right now as the footy club that singin’ bloke plays for!

Meanwhile, North Melbourne, the artist formerly known as the Kangaroos , have been struggling for survival for years and rejected a mega-bucks offer from the League to relocate to the Gold Coast. By deciding to go all out to stay put in Melbourne, they have at least managed to galvanise their smallish supporter base, recording their highest ever membership tally this year.

The League’s millionaire chief executive Andrew Demetriou was quick to congratulate North on their efforts…but even quicker to point out that it will become even tougher for financially weaker clubs to compete. Demetriou does point out that he supports the current 16-team competition…but forget to say he would be much, much happier if the Kangas were preparing to haul arse up to Queensland, like, right now!

After making the preliminary final last year, the Roos cannot afford to slide back down the ladder…as some expect them to do.

So with Melbourne struggling for members, North Melbourne under pressure to survive and South Melbourne long gone to Sydney…could we see a day where the self-proclaimed home of footy has not one team with the name ‘Melbourne’ in the AFL?

In other money-makes-the-footy-world-go-round news:

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