President - Frank Grey Smith
Vice-Presidents - JJ Morris, George Aitken, JG Murdoch, A. Hunt
Committee - J. Turner, H. King, E. Fox, George Hallett, A. Mackenzie, G. Strachan
Treasurer: HH Morrison
Captain - Eddie Fox
Vice-Captain - J. Kelly/G. Benson
Secretary - WC Lynar (to May), EM Macgregor (from May)
Second 20 Secretary - A. Collis
With the club in serious financial difficulty, the pre-season Annual General Meeting considered a proposal to merge with the University Club. University asked for their name to be retained, and Vice-President A. Hunt moved a motion to amalgamate as the Melbourne University Football Club. Player George Strachan moved an amendment that "the proposition of the change of name of the club be not entertained" and it was carried unanimously, leading the committee to further propose that "the Melbourne Football Club will cordially entertain any application for amalgamation, provided it does not in any way affect the name or colours of the club", which was passed unanimously. The merger did not take place, but Melbourne took eight of University's players.
The rules were changed before the season so that players who marked the ball before the bell would still get to take their shot, and if the ball was in transit when the bell rang any scores would be counted. The league's rules also stated that a match abandoned due to bad weather would be counted as a draw regardless of the score.
A scratch match was played on the Friendly Societies' Ground on Saturday 13 April.
Melbourne were already having a nightmare season when their best player Alex McKenzie walked out on the club and went to Carlton after a brief permit controversy. They used 74 players for the year, the most of any senior side in the 19th century.
In late August, after a massive loss to Fitzroy there was a suggestion in the papers that the club would be excluded from the senior ranks. They said one would imagine that their final interment took place at Fitzroy last week, and that a further resurrection on their part will be little short of miraculous. They won one more match for the year and might have died had the MCC not stepped in.
A meeting of members a week later explained that the debt from moving to the Friendly Societies' Ground had put them between 500 and 600 pounds in debt, which they had been unable to service due to a lack of gate reciepts caused by poor form. The meeting resolved to ask members and ex-players to help with contributions, and to hold a fundraising concert.
In a the June 8 game against Footscray, Melbourne appealled on the grounds that Footscray had played an ineligible player Mr Sadler. The protest was upheld and Melbourne were awarded the match two weeks later.
At the end of the year, with the club in deep financial trouble, having suffered their worst on-field run, the MCC took control of the footballing club, paid off its debts, took over its limited assets and incorporated the Melbourne Football Club as the footballing section of the Cricket Club.
|1 June||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|15 June||Port Melbourne||LOSS|
|29 June||North Melbourne||LOSS|
|27 July||South Melbourne||LOSS|
|10 August||St Kilda||LOSS|
|24 August||Port Melbourne||LOSS|
|28 September||St Kilda||LOSS|
|13 July||Ballarat Imperials||LOSS|
|29 May||Southern Tasmania||LOSS|
William Aitken, George Allen, Avery, Bain, G. Benson, J. Benson, Blair, R. Brown, J. Carah, Carroll, Henry Claringbould, Clarke, N. Cohen, Comber, Arthur Connelly, Tom Deane, Joseph Dobell, A. Doherty, Donald, Drood, W. Farrell, E. Firebrace, Eddie Fox, Thomas Fox, J. Freeman, Herbert Fry, J. Garton, George Hallett, H. Harper, John Harvey, Horace Hayes, Alf Healing, Dick Houston, James Kelly, Richard Kelly, Tom Kennedy, Joe Kerrigan, Arthur King, Howard King, Lander, G. Langridge, M. Lemon, George Lidstone, Edward Lording, Eyre Lynar, W. Mathieson, McArthur, McCann, James McCarthy, J. McGrath, A. McKean, Alex McKenzie, R. McKinlay, Mitchell, H. Mitchell, Howard Morrison, Mullen, Munro, H. Nixon, J. Nuttall, Harry Orwin, P. Parsons, Prentice, P. Russell, Shaw, Fred Sheahan, George Slattery, William Smith, South, Charles Spooner, George Strachan, Thomson, Harry Trowbridge, W. Tulloch, Woodman
W. Smith 9, J. Benson 7, R. Kelly 6, G. Langridge 3, H. Trowbridge 3, William Aitken 2, E. Firebrace 2, George Hallett 2, G. Allen 1, G. Benson 1, J. Carah 1, W. Farrell 1, J. Kelly 1, M. Lemon 1, McCann 1, R. McKinlay 1, Mitchell 1, F. Sheahan 1, South 1, Unknown 1
Ballarat, Ballarat Imperials and South Ballarat were also in the competition but didn't play enough games against Melbourne teams to qualify for the premiership.
Footscray were not ranked on the table as they had not played enough games.
|27 April||Essendon||LOSS||0.2 - 4.12|
|25 May||Essendon||LOSS||0.2 - 5.16|
|19 July||Essendon||LOSS||1.1 - 6.15|
|10 August||St Kilda||Unknown||Unknown|
Second 20 players (incomplete)
Mullens, Collis, Benson, Hyams, Levy, Parsons, Parsons, Bushell, Kiely
Leader - 13/04/1889
Australasian - 13/04/1889
Argus - 13/04/1889
Weekly Times - 13/04/1889
Australasian - 20/04/1889
Table Talk - 10/05/1889
Sydney Mail - 25/05/1889
Sydney Mail - 01/06/1889
Sydney Mail - 08/06/1889
The Sydney Times - 22/06/1889
Australasian - 22/06/1889
Hawke's Bay Herald - 09/08/1889
Sydney Morning Herald - 19/08/1889
Australasian - 07/09/1889
Australasian - 12/10/1889
Origins of Australian Football: Volume 3 by Mark Pennings