Maybe I’ve missed it, but shouldn’t we be saying there are five big Victorian AFL clubs now: Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Richmond … and Hawthorn?
have now won 12 premierships, making them one of the more historically
successful clubs. They had the
second-highest membership of any club in 2015, and have been near the top
over the past few years. They had the third-highest average
attendance of any club in 2015.
It seems to
me the Hawks now have all the indicators of a ‘big club’. They have big
rivalries with Essendon, Geelong, and to a lesser extent, Carlton and
Collingwood. Indeed I’d say Hawthorn and Richmond sit alongside Collingwood as the
‘powerhouses’ in Victorian football at the moment, obviously helped by their
on-field performances, while Essendon and Carlton have had their recent
will change once Hawthorn starts to fall down the ladder again (I’m assuming
that will happen someday). But there are at least two generations of Hawthorn
fans now that have had great success, so I reckon their fan base will stick.
Their pattern of success over those eras would now look fairly similar to the eras
that built the fan bases of the other ‘big four’ Victorian clubs.
At the least, as much as I hate to say it, the
Hawks are probably as big as Richmond now.