Didn’t that punishment only come about because Mike Fitzpatrick cracked the ■■■■■ with the Swans for stealing Buddy away from GWS?
You do make a lot of valid points Diggers in regards to the VFL being on the bones of their a.r.s.e and in trouble of folding had it not started the National competition with the Eagles and Bears license fees propping the League up in the eighties.
And don’t forget how the VFL clubs and the League came to this position. By taking out massive bank loans to buy houses, cars and to pay massive transfer fees to help attract and relocate interstate players, and their families sometimes, from the WAFL and SANFL to help prop up their waning competition. That’s right folks, with money that the Victorian clubs did not have but actually had to borrow from the banks.
The Swans were a little bit different with the good Dr Geoffrey and his (ie. not his) money buying out their license. That all turned south quite quickly until they almost folded in that 92-93 period that you mentioned above.
You are correct though, without a successful Sydney, the League would really be struggling financially.
COLA was only stripped from them because of Fitzpatrick’s sheer vindictiveness towards them over the Buddy deal. Had Buddy had gone to the Giants, the COLA would’ve remained at the Swans.