Never underestimate the power of a drought-breaking premiership to light the path back to the club with gold.
After last year’s sensational breakthrough flag, the Richmond Football Club has rode that momentum to a place no AFL club – or any professional sporting club in Australia for that matter – has ever been to before: 100,000 paid-up members.
The Tigers cracked the mythical 100k mark today, meaning they now have enough club members to fill just about every seat in the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground by themselves. Which is great if you’re a Tigers fan and a vision of literal hell on earth if you’re not.
Key forward and ex-member of The Killers Jack Riewoldt made the announcement to his fellow premiership compatriots at a team meeting this afternoon, caught on camera by the club’s social media team and subsequently posted up on the online a short time ago.
“For the first time in AFL history…”
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) July 24, 2018
Credit where it’s due, there’s a fair bit to like about coach Dimma Hardwick flying in at the end there with a heel click. For 90% of the other coaches in the league a feat like that would land them on the operating table. Brisbane coach Chris Fagan ripped his hamstring off the bone getting out of a pool, for crying out loud.
Regardless, the push to 100,000 is certainly no mean feat, even given the traditionally large boost in membership numbers clubs tend to enjoy the year after winning a premiership.
The figure is a huge boost on the club’s 2017 membership tally of 72,669. With a current tally of 100,063, that represents a staggering 37.69% (nice) rise in membership numbers; a mark that even eclipses the 36.78% rise in membership numbers enjoyed by the GWS Giants between seasons 2016 and 2017.
These numbers make Richmond easily the largest AFL club in the competition – surpassing the likes of Collingwood and Hawthorn – and, by extension, it makes them the largest professional sporting club in Australia by a significant margin.
What else can you say? It’s good to be on top.
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