Coach: Neale Daniher
Captain: David Neitz
Finishing Position: 11th
Best and Fairest: Adem Yze
Leading Goalkicker: Russell Robertson (42)
Best First Year Player: Scott Thompson
Major Sponsor: LG Electronics
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||VFL|
Despite being Grand Finalists just months before, the year started badly for the club when in January it was announced that the state government was banning pokie licences in several council areas. The Demons had invested $2.5 million in a Fawkner social club which was then banned from having pokies as part of the City of Darebin. The club were forced to write off losses of nearly $750,000 from the experience.
Pre-season camp, and an intra-club game, was held in Canberra with the squad spending a week at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Age journalist Rohan Connolly predicted the Demons would finish 5th, while his Herald Sun counterpart Mike Sheahan had Melbourne in 6th. While both predicted that the 2000 runners-up would slide down the ladder in 2001, neither would be close to predicting the sort of fall that Melbourne suffered.
Injuries to Stephen Powell, Jeff White, Andrew Leoncelli, Shane Woewodin and Guy Rigoni robbed the Demons of the much of the midfield who had been so strong as they qualified for the Grand Final the year before.
Off-field instability didn't help Melbourne's cause eithr. President Joseph Gutnick went to war with the AFL after they threatened him with a $20,000 fine for commenting on the racial vilification case between David Schwarz and Justin Murphy after the round 3 match against Geelong. Gutnick was also forced to deny that former number one ticketholder Ron Walker was set to launch a challenge against his presidency.
In May he resigned after he was denied an injunction against a board meeting that was set to sack him. Gabriel Szondy took over as president. The eventual board elections which saw Gutnick's ticket lose control of the board, and Szondy re-elected as president, was played out against the backdrop of a short-term cashflow problem which forced the club to borrow $250,000 from director Peter Hayes. Gutnick failed to stump up the last $300,000 of his promised $3m cash injection to the club.
The election was held on 18 December, and there was a turnout of approximately 75%. Initial polling by Channel 7 and the Herald Sun indicated that a vast majority of Melbourne members would relect Gutnick, but a week before Christmas it was Szondy and the "Team Vision" ticket which comprehensively defeated the Joseph Gutnick led "Melbourne First" with almost 65% of the vote.
|Robert Flower||Team Vision||10,529|
|Gary Hardeman||Team Vision||6,834|
|Peter Hayes||Team Vision||6,804|
|Beverley O'Connor||Team Vision||6,799|
|Stephen Bickford||Team Vision||6,694|
|Gabriel Szondy||Team Vision||6,684|
|Peter Dohrmann||Team Vision||6,597|
|Robert Jamieson||Team Vision||6,560|
|Paul Gardner||Team Vision||6,550|
|Craig Perrett||Team Vision||6,524|
|Joseph Gutnick||Melbourne First||4,235|
|Michael Givoni||Melbourne First||4,150|
|Greg Sword||Melbourne First||4,127|
|Sally Dimmick||Melbourne First||4,121|
|Fiona McNabb||Melbourne First||4,087|
|Warren Stooke||Melbourne First||4,028|
|John Fowler||Melbourne First||4,024|
|Allen Dewhirst||Melbourne First||4,021|
|Philip Eddy||Melbourne First||3,999|
Five members of the match committee select the best five players each week and rate them out of 10.
|Ansett Cup Match 1||Jeff Farmer||Charging||2 weeks|
|Practice Match||Brent Grgic||Abusive Language||$1200 fine|
|Round 3||Daniel Ward||Abusive language||Withdrawn|
|Round 7||David Schwarz||Striking||Withdrawn|
|Round 9||James McDonald||Wrestling||$1200 fine|
|Round 13||David Neitz||Wrestling||$3000 fine|
|Round 18||Adem Yze||Charging||Not Guilty|
|Round 22||David Neitz||Wrestling||Withdrawn|
|Round 22||David Neitz||Wrestling||$5000 fine|
|Round 22||David Neitz||Striking||Not Guilty|
"Demons $1m loss Pokies venue shock leaves Dees in the red and blue" - Herald Sun 07/03/2001
"Walker weighs up challenge to Gutnick" - Herald Sun 27/04/2001