The AFL, the Brisbane Bears and the Administrator had done a deal where Brisbane took on Fitzroy's assigned debt to Nauru as a registered charge and in return the Bears were authorised by the AFL to assume Fitzroy's branding in the AFL. There's not a hint of maroon and gold. Paul Roos: Paul Roos Beyond 300, An Autobiography, Random House, 1997.

The Fitzroy Bulldogs was to have been a team made up from the merger of the Footscray Football Club and the Fitzroy Football Club. Mike Sutherland, Rod Nicholson, Stewart Murrihy, The First Hundred Seasons: Fitzroy Football Club 1883-1983, Fitzroy Football Club, 1983. Regardless of the club becoming competitive again in the early 1980s with the recruiting of key individual players, in which Fitzroy lost the 1986 preliminary final to the eventual premiers in Hawthorn, the same year would the club's first official financial loss, in posting a AUD250'000 deficit at the season's conclusion. The merger was driven by immediate financial difficulties suffered by Footscray, but the merger collapsed when Footscray supporters secured sufficient money and sponsors to save their club from extinction. The jumper of the new team was essentially the traditional red and blue Melbourne jumper with a gold band separating the two colours, the gold Fitzroy lion logo featured on the front and a gold number on the back. "So they took Simon Hawkings and he played with them for 12 months and then was traded to Sydney and with that pick which was pick 30 something, 30s or 40s, they got Simon Black with that pick. During the game Bibby and Plum concluded that there was a great opportunity for Australian football in Sydney and that Fitzroy should be a part of that. 29 June 1996 – Fitzroy negotiates with Nauru to pay $550,000 by August 1996, $150,000 in 1997 and $100,000 in 1998.

[9][10], The Melbourne Lions was to have been a new club made up from the merger of the Melbourne Football Club and the Fitzroy Football Club. Geographically a no-brainer, the marriage aimed to take two struggling inner-city clubs and make them a powerful force in the new AFL.

But neither of those [were picked], they were seen as peripheral to needs by Brisbane because at that time they didn't fit the needs or profile of the players that they were looking for.". The club carried out a series of fact finding work, including lining up a deal with a licensed Australian rules club in North Sydney to act as a social club, finding sponsors and even lining up a bank to assist with finances, if they were given significant representation on the board. That's the reason Fitzroy went out of business, because it wasn't able to pay the bills ... it is symptomatic of the fact that if it was just around tribal suburb versus suburb there was a very good reason for why it should have continued to exist, but that's not the environment that we continue to live in today. A plan for Fitzroy to relocate to Sydney had its beginnings in Easter 1979, when Fitzroy president Frank Bibby and Graeme Plum (Fitzroy committeeman 1979-1983) were invited by Kevin Humphries, president of the NSW Rugby League, to the Sydney Cricket Ground, for the 'Rugby League Marathon'.

"No, we had no superstar," McConnell says. The North Fitzroy Kangaroos was a proposed professional Australian rules football club which was to have formed from the merger between the Fitzroy Football Club and the North Melbourne Football Club, and was to have competed in the Australian Football League from 1997 onwards. During the 1986 season, Fitzroy was more than one million dollars in debt and few thought the club would survive to the following year; during the season, two private consortiums made bids to take control of the club and relocate it to Brisbane, a third consortium proposed to move the club to Canberra, and the club also investigated mergers with Melbourne, St Kilda and Richmond during the year – but the Brisbane proposal was considered the strongest. A Walkley finalist in 2007 for best three headlines, and a Melbourne Press Club Quill winner in that category, he led the Sunday Age team to major Australian Sports Commission awards in 2012 and 2014 for best National sporting coverage. As both club's immediate solvency to trade wasn't seen as threatened, immediate merger talks collapsed by mutual consent, with the two clubs remaining on good terms, and would later recommence merger talks during the 1994 season. [12], On Thursday 4 August 1994, Dyson Hore-Lacy met with Geoff Lord the President of the Hawthorn Football Club and John Lauritz, Hawthorn's Chief Executive Officer to discuss the possibility of a merger between Fitzroy and Hawthorn where a new club would be formed known as the "Hawthorn Lions." North Melbourne withdrew merger offers. [12], The Melbourne board decided that not only was the name a problem, but the benefits of a merger with Fitzroy were limited. Pagan, who struggled to lift Carlton out of the mire, recalls that the 1996 flag "was even sweeter" because the club won the gold AFL centenary cup featuring some of the best leaders in the competition. The club carried out a series of fact finding work, including lining u… The man who was caretaker coach at Fitzroy in 1995 and 1996 is not so sure. Fitzroy enjoyed modest success following Frank Bibby's resignation, finishing fourth in 1981 and 1983 and fifth in 1984. "It just happened [the merger failure] and we just moved on into the next year and we had a pretty good side," Pagan says. You'd be better off talking to others rather than me about how that played out, but from a distance it didn't play out well. There were as many as seven merger proposals, and two separate discussions of permanent relocation as a stand-alone entity. North eventually secured Martin Pike as a solid contributor in the 1999 premiership and Pagan concedes that some of the men in Fitzroy's final team would have benefited from exposure to North's strong playing list.

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