Dear Members and supporters,
I hope you enjoyed watching our gutsy win against Brisbane on Friday night. The team are really starting to deliver on their promise to members of a more consistent on-field effort. Ideally the game would have been played in Alice Springs, however once the Northern Territory border closure was activated we worked extremely hard with the AFL to secure GIANTS Stadium as an alternative venue to allow the match to continue.
This venue change allowed us to remain in the primetime Friday night time slot, so that our supporters all around Australia could watch and enjoy the exciting clash. Furthermore, by moving the game to Sydney it also gave 3,500 of our NSW supporters the opportunity to attend the game live, which was terrific. While small in numbers, the Dees supporters were vocal and passionate, especially in the last half which was noted by the players who appreciated the energy at such a crucial stage of the game.
On Friday, the Club also agreed to move the Queen’s Birthday blockbuster from the MCG to the SCG. It was a tough call as the MCG is our home, but again the Queen’s Birthday blockbuster has been built on the back of big crowds and the rivalry of two of Melbourne’s most passionate and traditional clubs. Our decision to relocate the game was due to the fact that we did not want our game postponed or played without crowds and therefore without atmosphere. A key part of the decision, was to ensure our Melbourne based supporters could enjoy the huge event broadcast with the atmosphere of a live crowd. From a live crowd perspective, we hope to be represented by over 10,000 of our NSW Dees supporters who we trust will inspire the team to twelve wins for the season.
I hope all supporters can appreciate that while moving these games, the club has been trying to balance the two key priorities of our supporter game day experience and our commercial returns. The first priority is ensuring we can give our supporters access to the games both via broadcast or stadium attendance. The second, is minimising the financial loss to the club of over $1.8 million which has occurred as a result of this recent border closure and the Victorian lockdown.
As we hit the midpoint of the season on top of the ladder, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 50,000 Melbourne supporters that have signed up as members this year. This is the second time in the club’s history we have broken this membership milestone and now have our sights set on breaking the previous record of 52,421. The coaches and players know there is still more work to be done this season to reach our consistent best. But the players love knowing the members are backing them in and jumping on board. If you are excited about how the team are playing and you haven’t yet signed up for your 2021 membership, please jump on board as a Dees member and send the team a message that you are behind them.
Once again, thank you for your loyalty, patience and understanding as we are forced to deal with the changing nature of the AFL fixture caused by the continuing lockdowns. The is a challenge that the club will face for the foreseeable future, so we need to remain flexible and ready.
I hope you are feeling proud to belong to the mighty Dees and that you feel the players and coaches are doing everything possible to reward your ongoing loyalty.
Chief Executive Officer
Melbourne Football Club