Round 3, 2018

Football Record, 7 May 1938, p. 3, from the State Library of Victoria

Well, round 2 was a bit of a blinder! We’re not sure about the rest of you, but for the people in our office tipping competition, that was a difficult one. And, indeed, it was a difficult one for many of the players – St Kilda in particular felt the need to cancel their players’ weekend off and hold a crisis meeting.

Unsurprisingly, this is far from the first crisis meeting that St Kilda has held. In October 1938, The Age reported that a meeting was held to deal with the threat by four players to walk out on the club if Mr W H McKechnie was reelected President. The meeting noted that “Just when the prospects are brightest the present dispute looms up to blight our chances” (The Age, 25 October 1938, p. 6). This crisis did, however, come after months of “squabbles” over McKechnie’s place at St Kilda (The Argus, 21 June 1938, p. 16).

But crisis meetings are not, of course, only the purview of St Kilda. In August 1911, the Australasian Football Council “had a long and important meeting” in which they discussed expelling the South Australian League “for having arranged to play matches with the Victorian Association without the permission of the council” (The Sun, 11 August 1911, p. 7, and see also The Advertiser, 21 August 1911, p. 7). And in a disagreement reminiscent of current complaints over the management of footy grounds, in Fremantle in August 1905 a meeting was held to deal with a crisis over where a game between West Perth and North Fremantle would be played. Mr Wall, of East Fremantle, reportedly said “he had absolutely no time for the trustees of the Perth ground. Much of the revenue received there went into their own pockets. They never improved their ground as did other ovals.” Apparently, according to Wall, amongst other “defects”, “the same coat of paint was on the pickets of the Perth ground as was visible when he played football there ten years ago.” After much discussion about the best ground – keeping in mind that Perth players were reluctant to travel to Fremantle (while also noting that “they were quite satisfied that they could beat North on any ground”) – it was agreed that the match would be held in Perth on condition of a series of repairs being undertaken (The Daily News, 26 August 1905, p. 8).

In 1924 there were crisis meetings in Adelaide over the use of Alberton Oval (Port Adelaide News, 4 April 1924, p. 7), while in Wangaratta in 1926 there was concern when nine playing members lost their jobs and hence might have needed to leave town to find employment – which could have led to the team being disbanded. Funds were collected at the meeting to “defray the additional expenses entailed in carrying on” (The North Eastern Ensign, 13 August 1926, p. 2).

As we can see, crisis comes in many possible forms when playing Aussie Rules footy!

But we hope that your teams, dear readers, remain crisis-free this round!

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