Having finally made the finals again in 1915 after a decade long break, the club were forced into recess the next year by the First World War and didn't return until after it was over.
The league took applications for new teams to join the competition for the next season. The Ballarat League, Brunswick, Footscray, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Prahran and Port Melbourne applied but none were accepted. The league also fell out with the VFA who refused to adopt a district scheme. This meant that VFL clubs could take players from the other competition without a clearance. Melbourne lost the University as a recruiting zone and gained Prahran, an area where it was hard to generate local support.
The inclusion of new teams might have allowed Melbourne the opportunity to register a victory. Or it may have further depleted a talent pool that left them easy pickings most weeks. A number of players returned after the break but most were ineffectual or only played a handful of games. Most of the squad, including seven league debutants in the first round, were new to the VFL. George Haines, the new captain-coach, was the eight MFC debutant in the first match of the season.
While not thrashed every week they rarely looked like winning a match and went through the season without a single victory. At time they had up to 10 returned servicemen in their side.
With the team having spent a season being battered by all and sundry, it was said that three players went for a 'long lunch' before the last game at the season. One of the players broke a window in a cab on the way to the ground and were locked inside until suitable compensation was offered. With their entrance to the ground delayed by the commotion they managed to sneak in and avoid the watchful eye of Secretary Andrew Manzie. After a terrible first half they recovered to be named amongst the best players.
A "second XVIII" reserves competition was run for the first time but the league sides were represented by district teams rather than actual reserves.
Melbourne's league 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.