Melbourne returned to the competition for the first time since 1915. They had gone into recess in early 1916 when all medically fit men had enlisted to fight World War I, and a motion to return to the competition along with Essendon and St Kilda in 1918 was voted down by the MCC committee. After making finals for the first time in over a decade in their final season, the Fuschias returned with a weak team that failed to win a game. After benefiting from the best University players when that side left the competition at the end of 1914, Melbourne lost the university from its recruiting zone. They gained Prahran, an area with an established VFA side that made it hard to generate local support. Prahran was one of the sides that responded to the VFL's call for applications to join the competition in 1920, along with the Ballarat League, Brunswick, Footscray, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, and Port Melbourne, but none were accepted.
A falling out between the VFL and VFA, who refused to adopt a district scheme, meant League clubs could take players from the Association without a clearance. It wasn't enough to help bolster Melbourne's paper-thin playing stocks. With few of the 1915 side returning, and finals coach Jack McKenzie now in charge of VFA side Hawthorn, the squad lacked experience. New Captain - Coach George Haines arrived with years of league experience, but he was the only one of eight Round 1 debutantes that had previously played league football. At times they fielded up to 10 returned serviceman, and the closest they came to a win was a 10 point loss in Round 10. By the end of the season they were running on fumes, beaten twice by over 100 points. Three players went out drinking before the last game, and after one broke a cab window on the way to the ground they were locked inside until the driver was compensated.
A "Second XVIII" Reserves competition was run for the first time, with Melbourne aligned to two University sides.
Melbourne's VFL delegates were Bill McClelland and WF Knight.
Leo Little is shown as wearing #27 in the R14 record and R17
Bob Bodington is shown as wearing #28 in the R14 record.