Football

Two topics, one which may be of interest, one which probably won’t.

Origins of football

This Twitter correspondence took place:

[Click to enlarge and then click again until large.]

I replied: “Looking further into this, I’d say SFC was first formed but first match was MFC v SY.”

My family is West Riding, then moved to Melbourne. I don’t feel I have any stake in this question but let’s summarize:

SFC formed 1855, codified 1857, first match 1860
MFC formed 1859, codified 1859, first match 1859

We had further talks today and it seems the Sheffield founder went to live in Melbourne in 1855, playing cricket there, which would have brought him into contact with the MCC – I’m writing to them and to the MFC, except they’re in the playoffs this weekend so something in 1855 is probably not their most immediate priority just now.

Geelong FC

They’re also pretty early:

They currently have a major issue which has been nagging away since 2006.

The AFL became socialist some decades back and have a club equalisation policy, which means that whoever finishes last for the year gets first picks in the national draft, held on a particular day after season’s end.  There is also an official trading period.

GFC benefitted by good picks in their bleak days pre-2006, to the point they had their golden era 2007-2011 but at the same time, they weren’t replenishing.  No club wants to go back down the ladder after a golden era – MFC did that after 1964 and is still in the wilderness now.

So GFC had an astute list manager who both added youngsters [an unknown quality] and mature age stop gap fillers.  Now these latter were 2nd string [no club would release their 1st string] but were certainly not 3rd string or lower.

This has resulted in poor available picks since 2006 and thus, staying up near the top, [they’ve come 3rd or 4th each year, except for one bad year when they came 10th from 18], they are stuck in this limbo, which was so apparent to all pundits this year. They’ve just crashed out from 8th place.

This will give them some moderate picks in the Oct/Nov trade and draft but they have a further handicap in that, in order to gain some sort of reasonable picks each year, the club has had to play the trading game and give away future picks.

Thus they would, ordinarily, naturally get better picks from 8th but won’t this year because of deals from previous years.  so it ain’t looking so good.

Yet the club is seen as one of the big players, has its own stadium and that is currently under multi-million dollar upgrading but onfield failure will see the membership dwindle after a bumper membership this year and that will put the club in debt.  it’s not just gate receipts themselves but those gate receipts trigger various grants and sponsor interest. If they drop away, the club then cannot pay players the sort of money the top clubs give and GFC slides from a go-to club, which it currently is, to a stay-away-from club, a bad-news club for other players – it can happen so suddenly.

All sorts of solutions have been mooted, the main one being go back to the draft, don’t trade away any more picks and wait its turn.

It takes about 7 years to develop a player, and it takes resources to do it.  With dwindling returns, they are in a dicy situation right now.  Their second team also went out of the finals in straight sets.  The women’s team is doing all right.

Let’s say the socialism was killed off, let’s say all this equalisation ceased – that would form an EPL situation where a small number of clubs dominate and those down at that point stay down.

Conundrum.

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