After going close to finals in 1909, Melbourne slid down the ladder again in what was considered the worst season yet in the history of the VFL. The competition was hit with violent play, lax enforcement of rules, and rumours of corruption. The league investigated allegations that South Melbourne players had offered Melbourne money to 'play dead' in Round 16. After similar allegations regarding South and other clubs, two of their players were suspended for five years.
There was pre-season controversy when the MCC committee changed the rules of elections so they could choose the football committee and secretary instead of members. They decided that no player who lived more than 25 miles from the city would be invited to play, depriving them of Paddy Mills, who had moved to Bendigo but still remained available to Melbourne. There was also tension amongst the players that saw Flintoft, Nolan and Strong out of the side early in the year. The club only won four games but were saved from the wooden spoon by St Kilda, the only side Melbourne beat twice.
It was the first year where the league formalised residence as the main qualification for players, with a commitee drafting new rules for player permits. In August, at the insistence of the MFC delegates to the league, all umpires, including goal and boundary, were given the power to report players for violent conduct.
An intra-club game was played at the MCG on Saturday 16 April.
Round 2 matches were played a week later than originally scheduled due to the death of King George V. The season was put back on schedule with the merging of a split round in June.
|Northern Tasmanian League||WIN||68-63|
Some sources suggest that allowing all umpires to report was only a proposal by the VFL to the other states.
Argus - 25/01/1910
Herald - 08/04/1910
Herald - 16/04/1910
Herald - 13/05/1910
Australasian - 21/05/1910
North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times - 01/08/1910
Argus - 27/08/1910
Age - 30/09/1910
Evening News - 03/10/1910
Observer - 08/10/1910
Argus - 03/03/1911