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NorthPort
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McGuire slams push to re-write footy history as move to 'airbrush the VFA'

From The Age - Reported by Peter Ryan

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has slammed a proposal made to club chiefs on Tuesday asking them to reconsider the history of the VFL/AFL competition so that the years of football before the VFL competition began in 1897 are included into the AFL competition's official history.

Geelong president Colin Carter presented the paper to AFL club presidents and members of the AFL Commission and executive at a meeting on Tuesday arguing that premierships won from 1870-1897 should be included in official records as part of an initiative to acknowledge the Australian Football played in "the foundation years".

He also suggests that the competition starting date should be 1870, which would mean the AFL celebrates its 150th year next year.

However McGuire described the proposal as an attempt "to airbrush the VFA out of history" and threw up too many anomalies to be accepted.

"I am all for every team having their history and if you want to add on that you won seven premierships (to your own club's history) before the VFL era then knock yourself out," McGuire said.

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"You can't reinvent history because Colin Carter wants to have a 150th anniversary next year for a competition that didn't exist."

In a letter to AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder, the Geelong president said it was time for the AFL to right an historical wrong arguing there was ample evidence to support the notion that premierships won before 1897 were recognised well into the 20th century.

He also indicated that if the AFL Commission accepts the proposal that the competition should be recognised from 1870 onwards the AFL would be celebrating 150 years of legitimate competition in 2020, which has lent urgency to the decision.

Carter argues that his proposal is not an attempt to revise history but that the current view is incorrect and says a panel of historians set up to consider the issue supported his view that the AFL should recognise premierships won between 1870 and 1897.

He said ample evidence existed that early participants in the league recognised flags won between 1870 and 1896 with a list of premierships won including pre-1897 flags in the VFL Record until 1918, before being broken up into a list of pre-1897 premierships and post-1897 premierships from 1919-1923 before only premierships won after 1897 were included from 1924.

 

However McGuire said the decision makers at that time had good reason to make such a determination.

"It has worked over 121 years for good reason because people were smart enough at the time to understand the politics and the bitterness," McGuire said.

"The VFL broke away from the VFA to start its own competition and in doing so asked Collingwood to come in because they were the premier team and the largest drawing team at that stage.

"As far as the competition that is extrapolated into what we are today, it started in 1897 because we were the breakaway group."

In the paper presented Carter says three distinct eras of the code should be recognised with 'the foundation' era between 1870-1896, the 'VFL' era from 1897-1986, and the 'AFL' era from 1987-present.

 

Carter has asked the commission to embrace the forgotten era and settle on 1870 as the starting date for the competition.

It's understood the AFL Commisssion is yet to consider the proposal, which has been put forward previously, in full.

McGuire received support from VFA legend Phil Cleary who described the attempt to appropriate the VFA's history as "disgraceful" and said it would be an insult if the proposal was accepted.

"If they reflect on this it shows complete contempt for the histories of so many people who played in that great competition. It wasn't the best competition in Victoria. It was the second best but it was remarkable and unique," Cleary said.

"They should be trying to embrace that great history and say 'we're going to properly recognise our pre-history, our VFA history prior to the VFL/AFL'."

 

Club chiefs have been given a copy of the paper with debate expected to continue on the issue.

Although Carter is understood to be confident the argument will be accepted, there was a growing feeling on Tuesday that the status quo would be retained.

The AFL has previously considered the matter and determined in 2016 that "all statistics ... be embraced into the history of the game and not combined into the one history of the VFA, VFL and AFL."

Full article - https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/mcguire-slams-push-to-re-write-footy...

digs

If Eddie's not in favour it's destined for the rubbish bin !!

We might be from the bush. but we ain't green

NorthPort
NorthPort's picture

Thankfully this ridiculous idea from Geelong has been roundly discounted.  Hopefully the AFL knock this idea on the head.

It got good coverage across Social Media (Twitter/Facebook) and I believe a bit of radio coverage as well.

I think its disgraceful that the competition that we play in changed its name from the VFA to the VFL.  I still reckon its a fair old insult that the we lost our name, and the clubs that deserted the comp in the first place are now back playing in it!

Not to mention the ridiculous confusion of the VFA/VFL VFL/AFL fiasco.

 


MegaA
MegaA's picture

The old clubs (albeit the 2nds of those clubs) being back in our competition has created alot of debate over the years. I'm probably in the minority when I say I like having those clubs play in the competition. Thuth is that the appeal and publicity generated playing against the likes of Collingwood, Tigers, and Essendon etc is far greater than playing against your other VFL sides (even Williamstown). Somebody seeing a poster in a Bay St business is more likely to be receptive to attending a Port Melbourne v Collingwood game then would  v Williamstown, or Coburg etc The large crowd that turned up last Sunday (reports have it close to 2k) would most likely not have been achieved against a ex VFA club and the satisfactionl of beating full time prefesionals (although at times proving challenging) is very satisfying. Its like a great sports story, a underdog David v Golliath battle, something which everybody enjoys.

17 PREMIERSHIPS, 33 x GRAND FINALISTS, 21 X Runners up

THE VFLS MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUB - THE MIGHTY PORT MELBOURNE BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN, I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED, I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!

Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

I'm with you Mega, I really enjoy knocking off the AFL teams, a ten goal win over North yesterday was very satisfying, but knocking off Box Hill/Hawthorn in the 2015 GF was about as good as it gets, but i do hope all the remaining VFA teams can survive in the long term

 

 

MegaA
MegaA's picture

Wally I think they are going about survival in the right manner. You have the leagues highest membership tally, memberships have grown significantly for each club, same with crowds and sponsorship. By all reports there was close to 2k at Frankston yesterday and about the same at Port last week. I'd like to see Coburg and Frankston be a bit more competitive though otherwise those 1000+ members may not resign..

17 PREMIERSHIPS, 33 x GRAND FINALISTS, 21 X Runners up

THE VFLS MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUB - THE MIGHTY PORT MELBOURNE BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN, I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED, I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!

NorthPort
NorthPort's picture

I'm the same as you Wally and MegaA.  I really love the David v Goliath of VFA clubs taking on the might of the VFL/AFL clubs.

It's got to be one of the most lopsided competitions anywhere in the world.  When you conside that a single AFL listed player can be earining more money than the entire playing list of the opposition club it really adds that extra satisfaction when you knock them off.

While Frankston and Coburg in particular are battling week in, week out, Williamstown, Port Melbourne and now Werribee are really punching above their weight.  I can't wait for the day when other standalone clubs really threaten in September.

There is no doubt in my mind that without the AFL clubs, we would get zero media exposure and it would wipe out the VFA entirely.  

Also some clubs are fairly well attended.  Essendon in particular have supporters that get along (moreso in September).

Don't get me wrong, I love knocking of Williamstown etc and those rivalrys remain feirce, but there is also a thrill taking points off the likes of Collingwood.

 


MegaA
MegaA's picture

Your right about it being one of the most lopsided competitions in the world. Earlier on today i was thinking it must be the only competition in the world that has this kind of make up. Their wouldn;t be any other competition world wide made up of 1st division 2nds team, 1st division 2nds players mixed in with other clubs players to make one side (sounds crazy), and other clubs 1st teams. Its a very unique make up that I don't think has ever been replicated.

17 PREMIERSHIPS, 33 x GRAND FINALISTS, 21 X Runners up

THE VFLS MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUB - THE MIGHTY PORT MELBOURNE BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN, I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED, I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!

Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

is there any other Australian Rules comp in the country that doesn't have seconds?