Melbourne FC: Don McLardy’s Open Letter To Members & Supporters

As Melbourne Football Club members we should stand shoulder to shoulder in such trying times. I remember sitting in the Dallas Brooks Hall in 1996 holding up a ‘NO MERGER’ sign, the most horrifying feeling any football supporter can go through your club tinkering on non-existence. Now, we have another critical situation where the club needs our support. 
President Don McLardy has this morning sent this open letter to all Melbourne Football Club members and supporters.

To our members and supporters:

The last two weeks have been extremely disappointing for everyone associated with our football club, and the team’s on field performance is clearly unacceptable.

We do not believe that the results to date are a true reflection of the quality of our playing list, or the effort and improvement they have shown over a tough and demanding pre-season campaign.

The administration, the sponsors, our board, our members and those who come to watch the team play have all worked hard to provide the football department with the resources and personnel they require. They want for nothing, are not making excuses, and I am sure that the improved work ethic displayed will – in time – pay dividends.

Our club has endured extremely tough times recently, and has dealt with critical issues with professionalism and resilience. This is another of those times.  Despite temptation and outside pressures looking for us to make radical changes, these will not occur.

Just over a year ago, we made some strong decisions regarding our ability to compete consistently. The team put in place at that time – including Mark Neeld, Neil Craig, David Misson and a range of back up personnel – were given full support to implement an elite, uncompromising training regime that would challenge all our players and set a standard to achieve consistent on field success.

Our drafting and recruiting were designed to support this plan with players who could meet the levels required.  However, we realised that this was a long term process, and may take several seasons to evolve. Recruiting Jesse Hogan despite him not being able to influence this season is a prime example of this evolution.

 We will be using every internal and external resource available to us in the short term to make improvements as rapidly as possible.  However, we highly value internal stability – the lack of which has been a downfall of our club in the past – and we will not bow to the external elements that try to destabilise our club at times such as these.

At this difficult time, we continue to seek support from all our supporters and members for the long term good of the Melbourne Football Club.  We understand that some of you will be angry and disillusioned, that some will say we have heard all this before, and that some will lose heart and temporarily give up.

My message to you is that a club is only as strong as its supporters. Our ability to hold together at this time, while recognising that there are critical issues to address, and seeking input from all true Demons, will ultimately determine whether we have the strong base required to go forward effectively.

I look forward to seeing you all next week at the MCG for our game against West Coast.

Don McLardy

Melbourne FC: Don McLardy Update

An update from President Don McLardy via melbournefc
To all members and supporters,

I wanted to provide you with a brief update as we head into Season 2013.

Our club has today – in accordance with the agreed timeframe – provided its response to the AFL investigation. I intend keeping all our members and supporters regularly updated regarding this matter.

On the football side, our pre-season has been going smoothly, and our players have worked extremely hard to improve in all key aspects of their development. Our new draftees and rookies have settled in well, and over the next few weeks there will be a number of events for you to become involved in and hear first hand about our progress.

On Wednesday 6 February, starting at 6.30 pm, we will hold the Club ‘s Annual General meeting in the Members Dining Room at the MCG.  This will include updates from Mark Neeld and the Board, and the playing group will all be in attendance.

On Saturday 23 February, the Club will come together for our annual Family Day at Luna Park, starting at 9 am. This is a great day for the whole family, with many activities and lots of opportunities to meet the players.

The season is fast approaching, and our NAB Cup game, scheduled for Saturday 9 March at Casey Fields, will provide a great chance to see the team in action, as well as to enjoy the festivities of our Casey Family Day.

Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the 22,500 members who – to date – have either renewed or joined us for the first time in Season 2013. Your support is vital, and we thank you. To those who have not yet renewed, come along to one of these events and experience first hand the enthusiasm and determination of our team – I am sure you will want to be part of it.

Demons President Steps Down

New Melbourne President Don McLardy
Jim Stynes, the colossal tower of strength who brought the Melbourne Football Club back from the brink of ruin has stood down from his role as President at the club. The last couple of years have been busy at the Dees helm, Stynes opting out to concentrate on his treatment for melanoma. Jim was appointed President in June of 2008. Don McLardy will take over the role as President, the announcement came at the club’s Annual General Meeting. Jim Stynes’ achievement was acknowledged by a standing ovation from members.
On a personal level, I can say Jim has pretty much revived my great football club, put us back on the map from within the football fraternity and has also established some very impressive networks from within the clubs business circles. Without this, the club would be cellar dwellers, now, the Dees are on the verge of becoming an AFL powerhouse once more. We will see what the new Demons are made of come February 25.
Official statement from the Melbourne Football Club

Jim Stynes has stepped down as President to focus on his health and family as he continues his cancer fight.

The announcement came at Melbourne’s AGM, held in the Members’ Dining Room at the MCG on Wednesday night. Although Stynes was not in attendance, due to his ongoing treatment, the announcement was made by Don McLardy, who has now become Melbourne President after serving as Stynes’ vice-president. Guy Jalland will continue as joint Vice-president, along with fellow director Peter Spargo, who replaces McLardy in that position. Stynes released a statement about relinquishing his position, which was read by Don McLardy at the AGM.

Standing ovation from members acknowledging Jim Stynes’ achievement
Statement from Jim Stynes:As Melbourne enters what promises to be an exciting new season, and hopefully exciting new era, I see this an opportune time to step down as Melbourne president. It will give the football club the best chance to be 100 per cent prepared for round one and will give me the time to fully focus on my health and family.  I am extremely proud of what the board has managed to achieve since I took on the presidency in June 2008, particularly in bringing a greater sense of unity and purpose to the club. I have full confidence that Don McLardy and the team will continue that work. Don has my full support to lead the club and the Demons can rely on me to help out in an advisory capacity at any time.

For full coverage, including Don McLardy’s speech from the AGM and Jim Stynes’ full announcement, visit