Sydney SwansThe Sydney Swans is an Australian Football League (AFL) club formed in 1874 as the South Melbourne Football Club (nicknamed "The Bloods"). It played in the Victorian Football Association until 1896 when it joined the Victorian Football League. The club was based at Lake Oval and won its three VFL premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933, and always struggled for money, players and fans until it reached the point in the early 1980s where it was set to disappear.
The club moved to Sydney in 1981 as part of the the VFL's attempts to broaden its appeal which culminated in the national competition of the AFL. In 1985 the VFL created one of the messiest deals ever associated with football and almost bought an end to the Sydney Swans.
On 31 July 1985 for what was thought to be $6.3 million, Dr Geoffrey Edelsten "bought" the Swans. In reality it was $2.9 million in cash with funding and other payments spread over five years. Edelston resigned as chairman in less than twelve months. By 1998 the licence was sold back to the VFL for ten million dollars. Losses were in the millions.
But with substantial monetary and management support from the AFL, the club survived, and with generous player draft concessions, has fielded a competitive team throughout the 1990s and attracted a reasonable audience - mediocre by Melbourne standards but larger on average than Sydney's native sporting code, rugby league.
They lost the 1996 grand final to North Melbourne, their first appearance in a grand final since 1947.
1909, 1918, 1933 (As South Melbourne)
Brownlow Medal winners:
1940 Herbie Matthews (1940), Ron Clegg (1949), Fred Goldsmith (1955), Bob Skilton (1959, 1963 & 1968), Peter Bedford (1970), Graham Teasdale (1977), Barry Round (1981), Greg Williams (1986), Gerald Healy (1988), Paul Kelly (1995), Adam Goodes (2003) (co-winner)
Club Best And Fairests:
The Red and the White Theme: Notre Dame Victory March
Cheer, Cheer, the red and the white,
Honour the name, by day and by night;
Lift that noble banner high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What through the odds be great, or small,
Swans will go in and win over all;
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to Victory.