|2015 Result||Missed Finals (13th H/A)|
Australian Football League
|Colours||Maroon, Navy Blue, Yellow|
|Premierships||2 (2002, 2004)|
|Brisbane Bears||1987; Flags (none)|
|Melbourne Demons||1897; Flags (13 - 1900, 1926, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1987)|
Brisbane Demons Football Club is an Australian rules football club competing in the Australian Football League and was established in 1993 prior to the 1994 season. The merger of Brisbane Bears and Melbourne Demons resulted the club's formation. The club have two premierships dating to 2002 and 2004.
The Melbourne Demons
Melbourne began as one of the original sides to compete in the Victorian Football League. Between 1900 and 1987, the club won thirteen flags (tied with Collingwood to that point, and behind Carlton and Essendon through 1990). This were bleak for the club after the 87 flag from which they had won after being in sixth, the final position at the time for finals. They would go another finish at six followed by two in fifth another at sixth and dropping out for 1992 and 1993. The club had began to struggle to keep themselves financially afloat, and with the newly branded AFL, it seemed as though the Dees were one of the two likely candidates to in some form leave Melbourne - the other being Fitzroy.
Non-Victorain Footy and the Brisbane Bears
In 1987, the AFL was beginning their growth surge beyond the state of Victoria. As a result, teams were added in Brisbane and Perth to cover both costs of Australia. The West Coast Eagles saw almost immediate success finishing fourth for 1988, enough to place for a then-five team finals in a fourteen club competition. This was subsequently followed in 1990 with a third place finish and in 1991 both the minor premiership and the flag. Brisbane, however, was not so fortunate. Until 1993, Brisbane had finished last or second from bottom with the exception of a ninth out of thirteen in 1989, the first year of the AFL's contraction of Victorian sides. Brisbane would finish third from bottom in 1993, with speculation that they may be subject to a merger with the Fitzroy Bulldogs (fresh off a merger with Footscray for 1990) for the following season on the soul purpose to downsize Victoria in the national competition. The Bears, though in fantastic financial standing, did not have the right players to compete, thus an absorption would compensate while still seeing the continued financial stability with the assumption the team would in any case remain in Queensland despite the area's high popularity of the competing rugby union team for attention.
The Runaround and Merger
While it seemed unlikely that the Demons would stay in Melbourne, it was not discussed that there would potentially be talks to the east, but rather that Richmond would be the suitor for the Dees. The Tigers however had been briefly linked to the Sydney Swans, who had left Victoria but over a decade earlier in 1982. There was fear for the Bloods that Richmond might come calling for them again. There was also concern with the Eagles of the West Coast, rocked by a scandal that revolved around payment of umpires for their finals spot in 1988. This was in fact a false accusation which broke down any talks of merger involving the Perth-based club, though the board at West Coast had showed resilience in their innocence by threatening to leave the league unless accusations were dropped. Even with a separate merger, if the West Coast had left there would have been a problem as the recent announcement of a second club in Western Australia would've been pushed forward a season early and likely doomed to fail as the league couldn't afford to lose a non-Victorian club so soon.
Richmond finally got a lifeline as the league decided that it will be the club worth saving over Melbourne, thus the Dees were now the number one option on the market. Thus they immediately suggested that Brisbane be their new home in order to restore the rich history preceding the move. Within hours of the initial proposal, the league board overwhelmingly approved I unison as it was thought that a competitive balance among the leagues clubs was most attainable with this outcome. As we would find out after the merge, members of the Brisbane board saw an opportunity to sack all but one member of the board that controlled the Dees except their personnel director while mixing the coaching staffs together in some fashion - including replacing Robert Walls with Ian Ridley. The reason behind this as it turned out was that there was an embezzlement ring that had occurred involving a Ponzi scheme which included the board vice president and a deal cut with a loan shark.