ST. KLLDA'S TROUBLES.
TEAM AND COMMITTEE.
There was an atmosphere of excitement
on the St. Kilda Football-ground on Satur- day afternoon, just as if it were the eve of
a political crisis and the scene the Par-
liamentary lobbies. The match was be- tween Melbourne and St. Kilda, and it was chiefly interesting on account of the dis-
satisfaction existing among the players and
some of the supporters of the St. Kilda Football club with regard to the manage- ment of the clubs's affairs. The players first
became aggrieved because the committee did not entertain them as they consider they have a right to be treated and now They are grumbling at the withdrawal from a number of the supporters, especially Messrs. G. A. Eicke, the dather of one of their number, and Mr. J. D. Hogan, of the right of entry to the dressingroom of the team. About 6,000 people were present and all weer eagerly awaiting developments. Mr. Hogan held a reception in the members' reserve, and right around the ground the attitude of the committee and the griev-
ances of the players were subjects of keen discussion. The spectators were fortunate to have those matters to discuss, for they were of much more interest than the play proved to be.
The Melbourne men had the ground to themselves for some minutes, but just when the crown were beginning to think that the St. Kilda players were not going to appear Lever, the captain, ran forth on to the held at the head of his team. The ball was bounced, and for the next 25 minutes it was mainly a game of kick for kick, with all the Melbourne players at the one end kick- ing to Eicke, of St. Kilda, at the other end. The whole object of the Melbourne team appeared to be to kick the ball to Eicke, and to no one else. At any rate he obtained 99 per cent of the kicks on the half-back line. and for the greater portion of the quarter the ball was being kicked from the centre towards St. Kilda's goal. The state of the game at the end of the quarter was that on eight occasions Eicke had not been able to prevent the ball from going past hima and Melbourne had 3 goals 5 behinds to their credit. St. Kilda had scored one be- hind. Thenceforward the play was mostly a scramble, during which some of the St.
Kilda men livened up, but to very little purpose. The bright features were two runs by Pearce, of Melbourne, from his goal along the wing to the centre line; a goal kicked overhead by Sellers, of St. Kilda while he was being swung; and the ludic- rous mistake made by Parker, a St. Kilda forward, who was so entirely alone when he got the ball in front that he might have crawled to the goal line, but who from the distance of a few yards mistook the open- ing and kicked a behind, amidst much shouting. Such ironical cheering arose when the St. Kilda men sent the ball across the centre that they began to exert them- selves to greater efforts in the final quar- ter, and did as a team make a serious at-
tempt to increase their score. It was a
poor game. Odgers for his play on the half back line stood out shoulders high above the other Melbourne players, the best of whom were Pearce, Naismith, M'Kenzie, Smith, Hendrie, Tomkins, and Politz, who kicked four goals. Apart from Eicke, St. Kilda's hardest workers were Pierce, Scott, Baird, Sellers, and Thomas.
When at the end of the game, with the scores Melbourne 11 goals 11 behinds (77 points) and St. Kilda 5 goals 9 behinds (39 points) the players were leaving the field for their dressing rooms, a section of the crowd in front of the grand stand booted and taunted some of the men. Lever the captain, increased at one of the barrackers jumped towards the pickets at players' entrance, but two of his comrades pre-
vented him from scaling the fence, and dragged him away.
Mr. H.W. Stoddart the secretary of the St Kilda club, made the following explana- tion with regard to the trouble that has arisen between the players and the com- mittee:-"At the commencement of the season the committee issued a number of tickets to former committeemen and promi- ment supporters of the club to enable them to enter the players' dressing room as they desired. In addition, I had a supply of
tickets for those who on occasions expressed a desire to see the players in their room. These tickets, unlike other tickets were collected at the door. As one rooms are very poky, the committee
decided to call in all the permanent tickets
of admission, and in future to admit only the executive, honorary officers, and the players. The decision was arrived at on Tuesday, July 11, but it was not carried out untill to-day, as I did not bother to post the letters calling in the tickets earlier. No exception was taken to any individuals; the decision had a general application. Over
a dozen members are concerned and among them Mr. Hogan and Mr. Eicke. Nearly all the other tickets-holders were former
committeemen. From "The Argus' one would think that only two men have been picked out. Mr. Hogan
is very chummy with a lot of the players and some of them think that he has
been harshly dealt with. The players have made representations to the committee that they desire the tickets to be returned to Mr. Hogan and Mr. Eicke, and that is
where the matter stands at present.
The players held a meeting before the match, and were unanimous in representing the action of the committee. Some of them desire then and there to take action, but the cooler heads amongst them pointed out that they had a duty to the league and the public, and that whatever might happen they must fulfil their engagement of Satur- day. While they were discussing the matter those outside the dressing-rooms knew what was going on and a massage from Mr.
Hogan settled the issue. He sent in word
to say that at all costs they must play. The committee, or as many of them as could be called together, were summoned, and eventually the players decided to take the held on condition that the committee met them after the match to discuss the posttion.
At the conclusion of the game the players drew up a petition, which was signed by 22 playing members of the club, and the- committee, with Mr. Willis as their chair
man, heard what the players had to say. the players pointed out that Mr. Eicke, as the father of one of the best men on the side, and Mr. Hogan had been debarred from entering the dressing-room, and the team objected very strongly. They made no threats, but let the committee see clearly that they were unanimous, and unless the dressing-room tickets were restored that there would be trouble.
the members of the committee present agreed to call a special meeting of the full committee this evening to discuss the mat- ter with a sub-committee of the players, who have appointed H. Lever H. Danger-
held, and H. Plowman to represent them.
The members of the committee asked the
players what they intended to do, and the answer was, "We'll give an answer on Tues-
day, after we hear the result of your meet- ing on Monday night.
The players are unanimous, and deter-
mined to stand together, and make no secret of the fact that if these dressing- room tickets are not restored they will not be prepared to take the field next Saturday.
At the conclusion of the committee meet-
ing on Saturday the players assembled in the bar of the pavilion, where they drank
the health of Messrs, Hogan and Eicke, and
cheered them both.