Coach: Neale Daniher
Captain: David Neitz
Finishing Position: 2nd
Best and Fairest: Shane Woewodin
Leading Goalkicker: Jeff Farmer (76)
Best First Year Player: Matthew Whelan
Major Sponsor: LG Electronics
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||VFL|
Reacting to their disasterous 1999 campaign Melbourne got the jump on the competition by starting pre-season training first on October 25.
Before the Round 4 clash against the Saints Joseph Gutnick gave a speech attacking the AFL for perceived untrustworthy, discriminatory and bullying tactics. Throughout the season he would continue to be outspoken about the league's commission. Writing in the Herald Sun the next week he said "Given the atmosphere of secrecy and the suspicions that some clubs are treated more favourably than others, it is not surprising that clubs will explore all opportunities available to them to ensure their future." He attacked the commission again at the Round 9 presidents lunch.
The open warfare between the controversial president and the league over AFL Commissioner Ron Evans' perceived conflicts of interest as CEO of Spotless Catering - caterer to Docklands Stadium - continued with Gutnick calling a meeting of league presidents in June. The club blamed a massive drop-off in membership numbers (1500 less than the year before) on the three home games the club were forced to play at the new stadium.
Despite the animosity with the league Melbourne signed a deal during the year with the AFL and MCC to relocate the club offices to the Great Southern Stand.
In July it was announced that the Demons would play a home game in Brisbane each year for the next five years. The match would give a financial benefit equal to a 70,000 strong crowd at the MCG. Early in the season the club had announced that they were negotiating with the Tasmanian government with a view to playing games in either Hobart or Launceston.
A Round 1 loss seemed to indicate that it was going to be business as usual, and 3-3 at Round 6 hardly pointed to great things happening. When Carlton dealt out a near 100 point hammering in Round 13 which caused the Demons to lose 8% and drop to equal points with four three other sides on the edge of the eight it seemed like the Demons were finished, but a blockbusting win against Collingwood the next week, with Jeff Farmer's 9 goal second half, set up a streak that would carry the side all the way to the Grand Final.
3rd place on the ladder was their best finish since 1964 and Jeff Farmer was named forward pocket of the All-Australian side. North Melbourne's shock loss to also-rans Collingwood in Round 21 opened the door for the Demons to avoid playing Essendon in the first week of the finals, a fate that the Roos ended up suffering and receiving a record 20 goal defeat for their troubles.
Melbourne were instead pitched into a final against Carlton and overhauled a five goal deficit at three-quarter time, led by rookies Cameron Bruce and Brad Green to book a week off and a trip straight to the Preliminary Final to take on the Kangaroos who they beat comfortably thanks to Jeff Farmer starring with eight goals. Thrown into their first Grand Final since 1988, the Demons were tasked with the near impossible challenge of beating an Essendon side who had only lost one game all season. They failed to take early chances and the Bombers went on to take the premiership with a comfortable victory.
The Demons lost their second and third round draft picks as a result of previous salary cap rorts.
At the December AGM it was revealed that the club made a profit of $105,539, up from a loss of almost $1.5m in 1999. Joseph Gutnick was 're-elected' as president for a further two years but a court judgement later declared that the election was not valid.
In August 2001 the club were fined $5000 for salary cap breaches during the 2000 season. CEO John Anderson explained that the club auditors were 12 days late in lodging player payment documents.
Ansett Australia Cup
Best and Fairest
Five members of the match committee select the best five players each week and rate them out of 10.
|Ansett Cup Match 3||Matthew Collins||Wrestling||$1200 fine|
|Ansett Cup SF||David Schwarz||Kicking||Withdrawn|
|Round 1||Anthony McDonald||Wrestling||$1200 fine|
|Round 16||Matthew Whelan||Wrestling||$1200 fine|
|Round 17||Jeff Farmer||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 21||David Neitz||Melee||$3500 fine|
|Round 21||Jeff White||Melee||$3000 fine|
|Round 21||Travis Johnstone||Melee||$2500 fine|
|Round 21||Adem Yze||Melee||$3500 fine|
|Round 21||Russell Robertson||Melee||$3000 fine|
|Round 21||Shane Woewodin||Melee||Not Guilty|
|Round 21||Jeff Farmer||Melee||Not Guilty|
|Grand Final||Brent Grgic||Striking||2 matches|
|Grand Final||Daniel Ward||Melee||$3500 fine|
|Grand Final||David Schwarz||Melee||$3500 fine|
"Demons consider being Tassie devils" - The Age 10/03/2000
"Colonial hurting us: Dees" - The Age 31/03/2000