[11], Melbourne and Fitzroy again discussed a merger in 1994. 20 June 1996 – The Fitzroy board rejects North Melbourne's revised conditions. The cricket club would later leave Brunswick Street Oval when it merged with the Doncaster cricket club and only occasionally plays a few matches at the oval, which is also seen by former football club supporters as a cultural selfishness of the cricket club. The AFL and Brisbane had other ideas. After a meeting between the administrator of Fitzroy and the AFL commission, the AFL commission recommends a Bears-Fitzroy merger. Denis Pagan and Wayne Carey hold the 1996 premiership cup aloft. The merger was announced in October 1989, and the club was approved by the VFL to debut in 1990. "Maybe I could have turned my back and done my shoelaces up ... you know what if coach long enough you might get a couple of weeks when you are in automatic pilot and I think that I might have been in automatic pilot.". "It just happened [the merger failure] and we just moved on into the next year and we had a pretty good side," Pagan says. The difficulties with operations and maintenance of the stadium, caused by the unwillingness of the cricket club and the local city Council to work with the club in repairing and renovating the venue, saw them never play another VFL match there again at the oval, with the club relocating five times between Princes Park, the Junction Oval, the Western Oval and Victoria Park respectively. By the time of the 2001 premiership, Chris Johnson was the only member of Fitzroy's last team to make it to the MCG on grand final day. Fourteen of the fifteen other clubs with Richmond Football Club being the most vocal, declined the merger club's demands in fears of the creation of a Victorian 'super club' with fears of a strong fan base and on-field dominance with the proposed 50 man playing list. North Melbourne continues to play in the AFL in its original state. Yeah, I think it was influential, but I wouldn't say it was any more or less influential than the rest of the experiences that I've had. As an occasional columnist and writer, he’s a handy in-and-under type, albeit with limited skills by hand and foot. It would later prove to be the last final series Fitzroy ever participated in. "I think that's true of Pikey ... he obviously had a good season with us, but played his best footy with, not strong coaching groups, but strong playing lists. The big names who have been headlining this AFL season with a 6-0 scoreline dribble out onto a pristine training surface under a warming sun. It's a notion not lost on the man who was Kangaroos coach at the time, Denis Pagan, who led the club to two premierships. Regardless of the club becoming competitive again in the early 1980s with the recruiting of key individual players, in which Fitzroy lost the 1986 preliminary final to the eventual premiers in Hawthorn, the same year would the club's first official financial loss, in posting a AUD250'000 deficit at the season's conclusion. Footscray (now the Western Bulldogs) would later win their first premiership after the proposed merger 27 years later, in 2016. Only a handful of Fitzroy players at best would have squeezed into North Melbourne's best side. Pagan, who struggled to lift Carlton out of the mire, recalls that the 1996 flag "was even sweeter" because the club won the gold AFL centenary cup featuring some of the best leaders in the competition. Paul Roos: Paul Roos Beyond 300, An Autobiography, Random House, 1997. Despite the members and officials of Melbourne successfully voting in favour to merge, the AFL Commission was forced to stop the merger, thus resulting in the merged club folding immediately after. This offer is rejected. It was Round 13 – Saturday 18 June 1983. A plan for Fitzroy to relocate to Sydney had its beginnings in Easter 1979, when Fitzroy president Frank Bibby and Graeme Plum (Fitzroy committeeman 1979-1983) were invited by Kevin Humphries, president of the NSW Rugby League, to the Sydney Cricket Ground, for the 'Rugby League Marathon'. There were as many as seven merger proposals, and two separate discussions of permanent relocation as a stand-alone entity. The secretive nature of the merger negotiations, and lack of consultation with members, also drove much of the anger from fans. 28 May 1996 – Second Fitzroy shareholders' meeting. 27 June 1996 – Nauru Insurance Company agrees to $750,000 by the end of August and $100,000 for the next two years and $50,000 for the third. Those still bemoaning the loss of the Lions and the death of community football in Melbourne could do worse than to wander down to watch the Kangaroos train. These talks began in late July 1994 at the city offices of Noel McMahen (Melbourne's vice president). At the 1989 season's conclusion, league administrators proposed a merger between Fitzroy and Footscray Football Club, who were also struggling both financially and with its home venue in the Western Oval, to form the Fitzroy Bulldogs Football Club. However, as Fitzroy Football Club further increased its assets and profile it was felt that two separate football clubs called 'Fitzroy' wasn't the most efficient way to rebuild Fitzroy's profile in the Victorian footballing community. Melbourne president Stuart Spencer then discontinued talks and the proposed merger was off. Following the failure to merge with Footscray, Fitzroy later held merger discussion in the early 1990s with the Richmond, Hawthorn, and St Kilda football clubs, all of which failed. [5], At the time Fitzroy Football Club was not incorporated (this would occur in 1981) and any significant move such as relocation needed the approval of members at an extraordinary meeting. North eventually secured Martin Pike as a solid contributor in the 1999 premiership and Pagan concedes that some of the men in Fitzroy's final team would have benefited from exposure to North's strong playing list. The club's professional senior team was a foundation member of the Victorian Football League (now the Australian Football League) along with seven other clubs on its inception season of 1897. Still, the development coach in McConnell concedes that the North Melbourne list was "obviously pretty solid at that stage" meaning any extra men would have added enormous depth. That's the reason Fitzroy went out of business, because it wasn't able to pay the bills ... it is symptomatic of the fact that if it was just around tribal suburb versus suburb there was a very good reason for why it should have continued to exist, but that's not the environment that we continue to live in today. The cricket club to this day has constantly been criticised for playing a part in the football club's downfall, as at the time, the football club could have afforded to make desperately needed repairs to the venue that the cricket club declined and ultimately blocked, again ultimately damaging the long term viability of the football club. The North Fitzroy Kangaroos was a proposed professional Australian rules football club which was to have formed from the merger between the Fitzroy Football Club and the North Melbourne Football Club, and was to have competed in the Australian Football League from 1997 onwards. [5] The proposed merger was within a couple of days of being put to the members of Melbourne and Fitzroy for voting. Last week marked 20 years since Fitzroy and North Melbourne announced formal negotiations for a merger. North Melbourne board member and one of the chief merger negotiator Peter de Rauch says North Melbourne will not allow any more than $550,000 to be paid. There's no doubt that's where he played his best footy. 25 June 1996 – A compromise between North Melbourne and Fitzroy is reached. Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time. Brisbane has merged with Fitzroy. For two years, the Brisbane Bears held the registered charge over Fitzroy Football Club's head threatening to liquidate the club until in 1999 Allan Piper had the charge removed.. From that point onwards, Fitzroy Football Club started re-accumulating assets, trademarking the FFC logo, launching a "Fitzroy Shop", which sold Fitzroy jumpers and other merchandise, issuing club memberships to supporters, and slowly getting back on its feet as an operating football club. Timeline of the merger negotiations between Fitzroy and North Melbourne. As it was seen by the Footscray supporters as a takeover, with home matches to be moved to Princes Park, and with general class conflict between supporters as Fitzroy and Fitzroy North residents were of considerably higher average incomes over Melbourne's west. This was illustrated by the club accumulating three wooden spoons between the 1963 and 1966 seasons, prior to the stadium difficulties, and the club would further be non-competitive for over a decade later.

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