Captain - Coach: Carl Ditterich
Finishing Position: 9th
Best and Fairest: Laurie Fowler
Leading Goalkicker: Brent Crosswell (31)
Best First Year Player: Stephen Bickford
Major Sponsor: Mayne Nickless

Matches Ladder Playing List Best and Fairest Reserves Under 19's


Despite suggestions in the press than the return of Ron Barassi was already a done deal at the end of the season Carl Ditterich resigned from his job as a teacher and became the VFL's fifth full-time coach.

Coming off a second last place finish in 1979 Melbourne first hit the headlines in January when Richmond accused them over attempting to poach David Cloke and Kevin Bartlett. They failed to land either player, but did recruit Brent Crosswell and Bill Nettlefold from cash strapped North Melbourne during February in a straight financial transaction.

Going the other way was champion midfielder Greg Wells, and much of the season was played out against the backdrop of Wells trying to win a clearance to Carlton. He eventually made it to the Blues in time to play in their premiership team.

A new ruck rule was introduced that drew a white line across the centre circle and forced ruckmen to approach the centre bounce from opposite sides of the line. Another change was the instruction from umpire's boss Harry Beitzel to try and pay less than 50 free kicks a game, the change proved unpopular with coaches at first as it led to packs developing and wrestling matches breaking out. Carl Ditterich was one of the most strident complainants about umpiring, leading to an early season 'please explain' from the league. In another major change for the first time umpires took pencils and pads of papers onto the field with them to instantly report players.

In late June the football club broke way from the MCC after almost 100 years of being a section of the club. A joint statement by the MCC secretary and the club announced that the Demons would now be "an autonomous body with responsibility for its own affairs and liabilities". Chairman Wayne Reid described it as the first step to turning the Demons back into a football power. The change had originally been planned in early 1979 but the MCC's football executive failed to follow through.

The cricket club would no longer cover deficits, or take profits. This was a potential problem given that for the previous few years there had been all deficit and no profit. The cricket club had bailed the footballers out to the tune of $120,000 in 1979. As part of the split the club was forced to move its administration from the MCG to premises in Jolimont Terrace which had earlier been earmarked for a Social Club. The club also had to start looking for alternative training locations given the increased match load on the MCG.

An article on famous fans in the Age named the following as celebrity Demons;

Annette Allison (TV personality), Sir Henry Bolte (former premier), Peter Russell-Clarke (cook), Greg Evans (media personality), Derryn Hinch (radio announcer), Barbara Horn (ABC announcer), Don Lane (TV host), Billy Snedden (speaker of the House of Representatives), Judge Alec Southwell (Supreme Court) and Tony Staley (Federal Minister for Post and Telecommunications). Snedden was the #1 Member and Annette Allison the #1 Lady Member.

For the first time in 1980 the league introduced a salary cap, but in practice the regulations were often ignored and club's continued to pay players as they liked.

On-field, despite showing improvement on the year before Ditterich announced in July that that he would resign as coach at the end of the year to take up a position as director of a holiday resort in Queensland. This cleared the way for the Demons to bring Ron Barassi back as coach in 1981 - though it had already been reported that Barassi had not only signed but was being consulted on player movements by the club. The master coach denied the suggestion and The Age were forced to print a retraction - though Barassi confirmed the Demons had first and last refusal on his service.

After the Round 17 match against South Melbourne the club was fined $500 for comments Ditterich made about umpires, and in his last match Ditterich was reported for striking then left the ground to a warm reception. He was cleared of the charges.

In the end the master coach did come, after putting an ad in the papers asking Demons fans to write in if they wanted him. Predictably they did, and the club's end of season report showed a $239,833 purchase of two companies which were wholly owned by Barassi. The deal was structured so that the Demons owned the company which in turn owned the rights to Barassi's coaching and advertising services.

That year the club also became the first to list players as assets, showing their squad being worth $1.6 million and revealing they had been paid $502,966 for their services during the season. They reported a profit of $141,054 for time between splitting from the MCC and the end of the year.

Practice Matches

Geelong LOSS91-144
Port Adelaide LOSS78-137

Escort Cup

1 Swan Districts WIN148-66
2 Hawthorn LOSS88-119

Premiership Season

1 St. KildaWIN122-100
2 FitzroyWIN140-116
3 GeelongLOSS93-119
4 FootscrayWIN129-120
5 CarltonLOSS74-103
6 South MelbourneLOSS104-130
7 North MelbourneLOSS72-159
8 HawthornLOSS108-118
9 RichmondLOSS102-195
10 EssendonLOSS76-120
11 CollingwoodLOSS119-129
12 St. KildaWIN134-92
13 FitzroyWIN129-117
14 FootscrayLOSS43-73
15 CarltonLOSS103-132
16 GeelongLOSS105-114
17 South MelbourneLOSS90-124
18 North MelbourneLOSS57-87
19 HawthornLOSS64-141
20 RichmondLOSS109-174
21 EssendonLOSS101-122
22 CollingwoodLOSS66-124


North Melbourne1417123.858
South Melbourne1309101.752
St. Kilda421669.220

Best and Fairest

1st Laurie Fowler 43
2nd Robert Flower 41
3rd Wayne Gordon 35
4th Robert Elliott 29
5th Tony Elshaug 25
6th Greg Wells 24
7th Cameron Clayton 23
8th Greg Healy 19
9th Brent Crosswell 16
10th Peter Giles 15
10th Tony Martyn 15
10th Bill Nettlefold 15
13th Garry Baker 14
14th Chris Woodman 13
15th Greg Hutchison 11
15th Steven Smith 11
17th Stephen Bickford 8
18th Henry Coles 6
18th Graham Gaunt 6
20th Phil Pinnell 5
21st Carl Ditterich 4
21st Jim Durnan 4
21st Kelly O'Donnell 4
24th Russell Rowe 3
25th Peter Hamilton 2
25th Michael Seddon 2
25th Robert Walters 2
28th Andrew Moir 1

Other Awards
Redlegs Trophy - Tony Elshaug


1980 Reserves Season
Reserves Best and Fairest - Graham Hunnibell
Second Best and Fairest - Chris Woodman
Special Awards - Peter Maynard, Maurice Wingate, Henry Coles

Geelong 1705125.168
Carlton 1705121.068
Richmond 1615134.466
North Melbourne 1417123.858
Collingwood 1417114.458
South Melbourne1309101.752
St Kilda421669.220

Under 19's

Under 19's Best and Fairest - Paul O'Brien
Second Best and Fairest - Glenn McKissack
Special Awards - John Tossol, Greg Boyle, Ian Todd

Richmond 1804136.172
Fitzroy 1507135.260
Geelong 1417117.758
South Melbourne 1309117.652
Essendon 12010105.648
Melbourne 1201095.948
Carlton 11110113.446
Footscray 901387.936
Hawthorn 811388.734
North Melbourne711485.730
St Kilda401858.618


1980 Escort Cup Round 1 Brent Crosswell Striking 4 matches
Pre-Season Michael Byrne Striking 1 match
Pre-Season Garry Baker Striking Not Guilty
Round 1 Cameron Clayton Striking Not Guilty
Round 5 Peter Giles Striking Not Guilty
Round 10 Garry Baker Striking Not Guilty
Round 22 Jim Durnan Striking 4 matches
Round 22 Carl Ditterich Striking Not Guilty

Some sources list the MFC/MCC split as happening in August and some in July, but a certificate shows the official date the MFC became a company as 25 June 1980. The Age 23/02/1980 suggests Melbourne would take on their own $120,000 debt.

"Melbourne poaching, say Tigers" - The Age 09/01/1980
"On the spot VFL 'booking' - The Age 14/02/1980
"Big men come face to face" - The Age 28/02/1980
The Age - 27/03/1980
Inside Football - 10/04/1980
Age - 03/07/1980
Age - 04/07/1980
Age - 12/07/1980
"Barassi for Melbourne" - The Age 18/07/1980
Age - 21/07/1980
"Barassi replies" - The Age 24/07/1980
"Carl blast costs Demons $500" - The Age 14/08/1980
"Melbourne Football Club fined $500" - Canberra Times 14/08/1980
Canberra Times - 04/12/1980

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Saturday 11 August 2018 18:09:47 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 45)

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