Melbourne City Football Club (VFA)
Melbourne City Football Club was an Australian rules football club which played in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1912 and 1913, and was notable for failing to win any matches in that time. The club played its home matches at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground.
|Full name||Melbourne City Football Club|
|Colours||Dark red/claret and white|
|Competition||Victorian Football Association 1912–1913|
|Ground(s)||East Melbourne Cricket Ground|
In the first decade of the 20th century, the Victorian Football Association was strategically determined to field a club based in inner Melbourne to boost its patronage; the Association had mostly represented outer and suburban Melbourne since the majority of its central clubs had formed the breakaway Victorian Football League in 1897, and had further lost its most central club, Richmond, to the League in 1908. Since 1908, the Association had tried to convince North Melbourne to become its inner-city team, but without success. Finally, for the 1912 season, the Melbourne City Football Club was established as the inner-city club; it was based at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, after having also considered the Friendly Societies' Ground (the site of present day Olympic Park) as a home venue. The club wore a dark red coloured guernsey (described as 'claret' in contemporary sources) with white shoulders.
In its two seasons in the Association, Melbourne City was uncompetitive. It finished last in both seasons, losing all thirty-six premiership games it played; a loss by seven points against Port Melbourne in 1913 was its best result. The club's thirty-six consecutive losses was a VFA record until Sandringham lost forty-four consecutive matches from 1940–1945. The club did record comfortable wins in pre-season practice matches against junior clubs in both seasons, indicating the club played at a competitive junior standard, but at well short of senior standard.
The club was in the heart of League territory, so it was competing more directly with the League than any other Association club; as such, it struggled to draw fans or players from its local area, resulting in low interest and an uncompetitive playing list. These inherent handicaps left the club with little hope of improvement; so, on 1 December 1913, Melbourne City formally resigned from the Association, and disbanded as a club.
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- "Football – North Melbourne Club's special meeting". North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Chronicle. Melbourne, VIC. 11 December 1908. p. 3.
- "Brevities". The Independent. Footscray, VIC. 25 November 1911. p. 2.
- "Football". The Independent. Footscray, VIC. 4 May 1912. p. 3.
- "Melbourne City". AustralianFootball.com. Retrieved 10 June 2013.. This reference gives another loss, against Prahran in 1912, as also being by seven points, but a newspaper report of the game indicates it was in fact by nine points: Old Boy (12 August 1912). "The Association Clubs". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 10.
- Atkinson, Graeme and Hanlon, Michael; 3AW Book of Footy Records: All the Great Players, Matches, Goals, Kicks, Brawls and Sensations from More Than 100 Years of Aussie Rules in Australia; p. 182. ISBN 1863210091
- Observer (22 April 1912). "Football – practice games". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 10.
- Old Boy (21 April 1913). "Football – Practice games". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 5.
- Old Boy (29 July 1912). "Association Games". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 5.
- "Football – new Association club". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 4 December 1913. p. 12.