After eleven years of trying, Melbourne City were finally able to win their first-ever premiership and grand final in 2021, this was a significant moment for many reasons, not least that this is the first bit of soccer success in a state that is besotted with the AFL Indeed, there are no fewer than eight teams that are situated in Victoria that compete in the AFL. With this in mind, will City’s historic double finally begin to capture a new generation of fans that may have otherwise become AFL fans?

Before you scoff at that, perhaps we should delve into the background and ambitions of City Football Group – the current owners of Melbourne City – to understand why this could potentially be a problem. First of all, when you see City Football Group, it’s probably best to read ‘the state of Abu Dhabi’. Now, if a penny has suddenly dropped given Melbourne City’s shirt colours and their similarity to a certain soccer team that resides in the east of Manchester, then you’re certainly on to something.

Indeed, City Football Group are the owners of the Premier League champions Manchester City and New York City FC, as well as a host of other clubs around the globe. It goes without saying but they’re obviously incredibly wealthy and extremely well connected.

Basically, if they set out to accomplish something, more often than not they are able to successfully achieve it thanks to their embarrassment of riches. Melbourne City’s recent double in the 2021 season is testament to that and so is Manchester City’s rise to prominence in England after astonishingly toppling their neighbours and the biggest football team in the world, Manchester United.

Of course, now that the City Football Group has finally got a foothold in Australian soccer, It’s not surprising in the least to see the club they own priced at just 3/1 in A-League betting to win next season’s grand final as well. Indeed, it could be a long time before we see Melbourne City toppled.

But the question is will the City Football Group be content with just ruling the A-League or will they seek to establish total dominance as the sporting team to watch in Melbourne?

They could indeed set out to but there are some things that money can’t buy; passion being one of them. Victoria’s love for the AFL is so deeply rooted in the state that it is unlikely that footy lovers will have room in their hearts for two different sports. What’s more, there isn’t another state in the whole of Australia that can boast the success that Victoria has had when it comes to AFL grand final wins, with Essendon and Carlton having claimed the honour 16 times each. Indeed, to call Aussie Rules a way of life in southeastern Australia would be a gross understatement.

So you would have to say that any attempt by the City Football Group to change that by making Melbourne City the team of choice in Victoria would ultimately fail. This is Aussie Rules country and not even the deepest pockets in the world could change that.