The 2023 AFL season is about to start and what better way to start the new season than with some healthy discussion.
A new book is set to rewrite the AFL history books and it won’t sit well with Essendon fans.
Colin Carter’s book ‘Football’s Forgotten Years’ is set to generate a lot of controversy as he pushes for the VFL/AFL start date to be changed.
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Currently the VFL/AFL record books start in 1897, Carter however says the official year should be 1870 which changes the main sticking point for fans.
Carter was a former commissioner and President of Geelong who was determined to incorporate the Football Association years before the eight clubs split off to form the VFL.
This book can make a big difference in one of the biggest points of contention among footy fans, who won the highest positions.
As it currently sits Carlton and Essendon share top spot in the table with 16 premierships each, with Collingwood just one behind.
However, if the start date changes, Carlton would have full bragging rights and remain clear at the top with 22 premierships.
Essendon would go on to increase but sit two behind 20 overall. And with their recent drought, the gap may not be closing anytime soon.
Geelong would overtake Collingwood for third overall, jumping to 17 premierships as the Pies sit with Melbourne in 16th.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the launch of the book was a difficult night, but said the title would open up discussions.
“I’m not here today to confirm Colin’s theory … but I’m also not here to dispute his conclusions,” McLachlan said at the start.
“That’s for our historians, our teams to scrutinize and without a doubt expand the debate.”
Carter says the only reason the date hasn’t changed is because of the bitter politics between the leagues.
The AFL dates the game to 1897, but Carter says that date is wrong and needs to be corrected.
Essendon fans will not be in for a kick-off date change as the club clings to their place at the top of the premiership heap.
Bombers fans have not tasted finals glory since September 4, 2004 when they beat Melbourne by five points at the MCG.
A whopping 6,724 days have passed since that feat last September. A schedule that includes the last six losses.
Changing the record books to include the VFA’s 27-year absence would add to their pain and give Carlton fans the upper hand.