|Full name||Melbourne Storm Rugby
|Nickname (s)||Storm, Stormers|
|Founded||June 23, 1997|
|league||National Rugby League|
|2017||1st place (master)|
The Melbourne Storm are a professional rugby league club in Melbourne . The Stormers currently play in the popular Australian National Rugby League (NRL) and are among the most successful teams there. Due to a violation of the league's salary cap revealed in 2010 , the club was severely sanctioned. Among other things, the NRL championships of the 2007 and 2009 seasons were revoked.
In 1994 the annual rugby league match between the selection teams of the best players from Queensland and New South Wales was played in Melbourne. Over 87,000 spectators gathered at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and gave the prestige duel a record crowd. Since there was no rugby league club in Melbourne so far, the then national professional league Australian Rugby League (ARL) decided to take on a team from Melbourne. In addition to ARL, there was News Limited , the Australian branch of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation , which was gaining influence in the Australian rugby league sport and was also interested in a team from Melbourne. Conflicts arose between these two groups over the supremacy of the Australian rugby league sport, which culminated in the formation of the Super League (SL) by the News Corporation in 1996 and which was commonly known as the Super League War .
There was a competition between News Corporation and ARL in 1994 and 1995 to found a club in Melbourne, but no agreement was reached with the state of Victoria and the regional rugby league association Victoria Rugby League . In 1997 the SL had its first season, parallel to the ARL.
In March 1997, the ARL announced that a club from Melbourne would participate in the 1998 season. Two months later, the SL also issued a corresponding declaration, so that for a short time it appeared that two clubs were being founded in Melbourne. At the end of July 1997, the ARL had to admit that founding an association before 1999 was not financially feasible and finally the ARL moved completely away from the founding plans. In the same year, SL and ARL agreed to merge both leagues to form the joint National Rugby League (NRL). The Melbourne Storm was founded in 1997 under the leadership of John Ribot , the former head of the SL and Chris Johns , who came from the leadership of the Brisbane Broncos . Both were the Stormers' first CEOs . The foundation of the association was mainly financed by News Limited , which also became 100% owner.
In 1998, in the first season of the NRL, the club started with 19 other teams. The establishment of the Stormers in the Australian rugby league sport was also supported by the largest Australian daily newspaper The Herald Sun , which also belongs to News Limited . The first season was very successful in terms of sport. The first four games in the club's history were all won and the Stormers even reached the final round, where they were eliminated against the eventual champions, the Brisbane Broncos. In 1999 the team was able to finish the league in third place in the table and thus move into the final round again. Here the Stormers prevailed until the Grand Final, where they defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons at 20-18 and thus won the Winfield Cup two years after the club was founded.
Following the first championship in the club's history, the Stormers met St. Helens , the champions of the European Super League, in the World Club Challenge 2000 and crowned their outstanding season with a victory. The 2000 season started with four defeats in a row, but the Stormers were able to qualify again for the final round as sixth in the table, but where they passed in the quarterfinals. The two following seasons did not go well. In 2001 the team could not qualify for the final round as ninth in the table. A coach change was made during the season: Mark Murray replaced Chris Anderson . But also in 2002, the team missed the final round in table position 10. After this disappointing season, coach Anderson was replaced by Craig Bellamy , who previously worked at the Brisbane Broncos as an assistant coach under Wayne Bennett . CEO Chris Johns also left the club.
In the seasons 2003, 2004 and 2005, the Stormers could each reach the final round, but never the Grand Final. In November 2004, Brian Waldron became the new CEO of Melbourne Storm. In 2006 the Stormers found new strength and set a new club record when they won 11 games in a row. They ended the season for the first time in the club's history as first in the table and were thus the minor premiers . After they could also win the following two final round games, they were in the Grand Final for the second time. Opponents were the Brisbane Broncos, who won the game 15-8. The final was watched by over 900,000 television viewers in Melbourne. After the game, there was excitement over dubious referee decisions in favor of the Broncos.
In 2007 the Stormers played similarly dominant as in 2006 and could look forward to the Minor Premiership again . In the first game of the final round, the 2006 Grand Final was reissued, but this time the Stormers won 40-0 and advanced to the semi-finals. There they met the Parramatta Eels , who were also defeated. The Melbourne Storm reached the NRL Grand Final for the third time. Final opponents in 2007 were the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. The match ended 34-8 for the Stormers, who now celebrated their second title after the final defeat in 2006. In 2008 the Stormers' dominance was unbroken. Again they took first place in the table and qualified as in the previous year for the Grand Final, where there was a new edition against the Sea Eagles. The Storm team around the new captain Cameron Smith did not perform in the last game of the season and lost in the final with 40-0.
The 2009 season was, compared to previous years, average and at the end of the season the Stormers were fourth. In the final round they still managed to win against the Sea Eagles and the Broncos and so the team reached the Grand Final for the fourth time in a row and thus set an NRL record. In the final against the Parramatta Eels, the Stormers were able to prevail with 23-16 and won their third championship. Based on their successes between 2006 and 2009, the Melbourne Storm were named NRL Team of the Decade.
At the beginning of the 2010 season, the Stormers were able to win the World Club Challenge against the English Leeds Rhinos with 18-10. In the first three home games of the season, which were also the last at the Olympic Park Stadium , there were also three wins. There was already a change in leadership in January 2010 when CEO Brian Waldron moved to the Melbourne Rebels and was replaced by Matt Hanson.
In April 2010, the association publicly admitted that it had systematically violated the NRL's salary cap over the past five years . Since the end of 2009 there have been investigations into this by the NRL. The extent of the violation made it the biggest scandal in NRL history. The Melbourne Storm had spent over AU $ 1.7 million more on their players than would have been allowed since the 2006 season . The club management at the time had systematically concealed this from the NRL by keeping double accounts.
During the 2010 season, the Storm received record sanctions. All championships and minor premierships since 2006 have been revoked. The total prize money of AU $ 1.1 million had to be divided among the other clubs of the NRL, the Leeds Rhinos subsequently received the prize money for the World Club Challenge 2010 of AU $ 89,000. In addition, the highest possible fine of AU $ 500,000 was imposed by the NRL. In addition, all points already collected in the 2010 season were deducted from the Stormers. Further points of the season were not taken into account, so that the team ended the season in the last place in the table. CEO Matt Hanson was immediately replaced by Frank Stanton. Brian Waldron, who as CEO from 2004 to 2010 was mainly responsible for the violation of the salary cap, also lost his post with the Melbourne Rebels. When star player Billy Slater was signed in February 2009, Waldron claimed that the Melbourne Storm had been audited by the NRL's Salary Cap Auditor and that all rumors of excessive salaries should not be taken seriously. The club accepted the financial sanctions, but took legal action against the withdrawal of the championships. However, the lawsuit was dropped by the Melbourne Storm after CEO Frank Stanton was replaced by Ron Gauci on July 21, 2010. Gauci should rehabilitate and rebuild the club.
As early as 2011 Melbourne returned to the circle of the NRL top teams and finished the regular season in first place, but surprisingly failed in the preliminary final due to the New Zealand Warriors . In 2012, a victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the Grand Final finally won the second regular NRL championship title. Led by their three top stars Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, the Storm remained one of the absolute top teams in the league for years. After surprisingly losing to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the final in 2016 , Melbourne won the Grand Final against the North Queensland Cowboys 34: 6 in 2017 after a dominant regular season and thus secured their third title.
Achievements and Statistics
|1999||St. George Illawarra Dragons||National Rugby League||20-18|
|2007||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||National Rugby League||34-8||denied|
|2009||Parramatta Eels||National Rugby League||23-16||denied|
|2012||Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs||National Rugby League||14-4|
|2017||North Queensland Cowboys||National Rugby League||34-6|
World Club Challenges
|NRL 1998||24 (3)||17 (1)||1||6 (2)||3/20||♦||Chris Anderson||Glenn Lazarus|
|NRL 1999||24 (4)||16 (3)||0||8 (1)||3/17||♦||♦|
|NRL 2000||26 (1)||14th||1||11 (1)||6/14||♦||Robbie Kearns|
|NRL 2002||24||9||1||14th||10/15||Mark Murray||Rodney Howe|
|NRL 2003||24 (2)||15 (1)||0||9 (1)||5/15||♦||Craig Bellamy||Stephen Kearney|
|NRL 2004||24 (2)||13 (1)||0||11 (1)||6/15||♦|
|NRL 2005||24 (2)||13 (1)||0||11 (1)||6/15||♦||Robbie Kearns|
|NRL 2006||24 (3)||20 (2)||0||4 (1)||1/15||♦||A.||♦||Changing captains|
|NRL 2007||24 (3)||21 (3)||0||3||1/16||A.||A.||♦|
|NRL 2008||24 (4)||17 (2)||0||7 (2)||1/16||♦||A.||♦||Cameron Smith|
|NRL 2009||24 (3)||14 (3)||1||9||4/16||A.||♦|
Participation of players in the NRL All-Stars Game
|Adam Blair||pier||2010||NRL All Stars|
|Cameron Smith||hooker||2010, 2011, 2013||NRL All Stars|
|Brett Finch||Connector, crowd half||2010||NRL All Stars|
|Beau Champion||Inner three quarters||2011||Indigenous All Stars|
|Cooper Cronk||Half of the crowd||2012||NRL All Stars|
|Justin O'Neill||Inside three quarters, outside three quarters, goalkeeper||2013||NRL All Stars|
|Will Chambers||Inner three quarters||2015||Indigenous All Stars|
|Jesse Bromwich||pier||2015||NRL All Stars|
Stadiums and audience numbers
Since their inception in 1998, the Melbourne Storm played most of the time at the Olympic Park Stadium . Due to the team's high home win rate of 77.2%, the stadium was also called The Graveyard by Stormers fans . It actually only holds a maximum of 18,500 spectators, but at the Stormers' first home game on April 3, 1998 against the North Sydney Bears , the interest was so great that additional spectators were allowed onto the stadium's track. Therefore, the Stormers attendance record comes from this first home game in the club's history, which was followed by 20,522 spectators. A total of three games were played in the Olympic Park in front of more than 18,000 spectators. All three games took place in the Stormers' first season in 1998. In 1999 the attendance record was 16,473, which was not exceeded afterwards. The fifth highest value was reached in 2006 with 15,690.
The average attendance of the Melbourne Storm rose for the first three years in a row and reached 14,622 viewers after the 2000 season. The club's management then decided in the 2001 season to move to the recently completed and, with 56,000 seats, much larger Etihad Stadium . But the Stormers' weakest season in terms of sport brought an average of 11,969 spectators, which means that the new stadium was only 21.4% full. The club then moved back to the Olympic Park Stadium , but this did not bring any recovery in attendance numbers. The average attendance fell continuously and fell below 9,000 in 2004 and 2005. Only the sporting success in 2006 brought a significant increase in the number of spectators, when almost 2,000 more spectators came to each game than in the previous year. By 2008, the average rose to 12,474 and in 2009 it reached 11,979. Another record comes from 2007 when the Stormers played their semi-final match against Parramatta at the Etihad Stadium in front of 33,427 spectators. It has long been common practice for the club to avoid home games in the finals in the larger stadiums in the city.
In 2007 construction began on the AAMI Park , a new stadium in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic Park with more modern equipment and larger capacities (30,050 seats). It quickly became clear that the Stormers would move to AAMI Park after completion. Their last home game at Olympic Park was on August 29, 2009 against the Sydney Roosters . In 2010, the Stormers' first three home games were played again at the Etihad Stadium before they moved to the new home stadium. The Storm's first played at AAMI Park on May 9, but lost 14-36 to the Brisbane Broncos .
|1998||Olympic Park Stadium||12,717|
|1999||Olympic Park Stadium||12,902|
|2000||Olympic Park Stadium||14,622|
|2002||Olympic Park Stadium||9,088|
|2003||Olympic Park Stadium||9,626|
|2004||Olympic Park Stadium||8,886|
|2005||Olympic Park Stadium||8,898|
|2006||Olympic Park Stadium||10,853|
|2007||Olympic Park Stadium||11,711|
|2008||Olympic Park Stadium||12,474|
|2009||Olympic Park Stadium||11,979|
Club logo and jersey colors
A gunslinger with a handful of dollar bills was originally discussed as the club's logo. The club should be called Melbourne Mavericks. The sponsor News Limited, however, rejected this proposal as being too American. The co-CEOs Chris Johns and John Ribot ultimately decided on the topics of lightning, power and storm and named the association Melbourne Storm.
The colors of the Melbourne Storm have been based on the colors of the Australian state of Victoria since the first season . Dark blue with a white 'V'. In addition, there was a purple component and a little gold on most of the jersey designs. From 2005 to 2009 gold was replaced by silver. In 2010 silver disappeared from jerseys and purple became the dominant color for the first time.
- Sean Fagan: Melbourne Storm. In: http://www.rl1908.com/ . Retrieved August 18, 2010 .
- Ian Cockerill: Eye of the Storm. In: Newsstore. October 3, 1999, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Andrew Stevenson: Rugby league - the game they play in Melbourne. In: The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital, October 3, 2006, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Broncos edge Storm for NRL title. In: BBC Sport. BBC, October 1, 2006, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Storm team of the decade. In: Daily Liberal. Fairfax Digital, October 4, 2009, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Chris Barrett: Melbourne Storm stripped of premierships for salary cap breaches. In: The Sydney Morning Herald. April 22, 2010, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Stuart Honeysett and Brent Read: Shocking end to the Melbourne Storm era. In: The Australian. April 23, 2010, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Josh Rakic and Caroline Wilson: Rebels act swiftly in asking Waldron to clear his desk. In: The Sydney Morning Herald. April 23, 2010, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Peter Badel Former Australian Captain: Melbourne Storm scarper talk of salary cap breaches as they try to sign Slater. In: FoxSports. February 15, 2009, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- AAP Former Australian Captain: Storm drops legal case against NRL. In: The Sydney Morning Herald. July 22, 2010, accessed August 18, 2010 .
- Melbourne Storm Former Australian Captain: Ron Gauci appointed new CEO. (No longer available online.) In: www.melbournestorm.com.au. July 21, 2010, formerly in the original ; accessed on August 18, 2010 (English). ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Farewell Olympic Park Events. (No longer available online.) Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, archived from the original on August 28, 2009 ; accessed on August 4, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Olympic Crowds (Olympic Park). (No longer available online.) In: http://stats.rleague.com/ . Archived from the original on June 7, 2011 ; accessed on August 4, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Docklands Crowds (Etihad Stadium). (No longer available online.) In: http://stats.rleague.com/ . Archived from the original on June 7, 2011 ; accessed on August 18, 2010 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Melbourne Crowds. (No longer available online.) In: http://stats.rleague.com/ . 2010, archived from the original on August 1, 2013 ; accessed on August 18, 2010 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Ian Collis and Alan Whitaker: The History of Rugby League Clubs . New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd, Sydney 2004, ISBN 1-74110-075-5 .