THE MELBOURNE Football Club is $1 million richer after winning the relaunched McClelland Trophy for 2023.
Melbourne's win over Fremantle on Saturday combined with losses for Brisbane and Collingwood in round nine of the AFLW means the Demons have an unassailable 12-point lead on the combined ladder with one round of the W season remaining.
The Dees have 128 points thanks to the 16 wins its men's team recorded this year plus nine W victories.
The Lions won 17 games in the men's regular season to go with six so far in the W season, while the Magpies (18 in men's, five in women's) round out the top three spots with one round to play.
Having been awarded to the first-placed finisher in the AFL since 1991, the McClelland Trophy was relaunched this year to reward the best-performed club across both the men's and women's competitions.
With $1 million in prizemoney up for grabs to be shared between the club and its players, four points are awarded for AFL wins and two for AFL draws, while eight points are granted for AFLW wins and four for AFLW draws, given the AFLW season runs for only 10 rounds.
"Melbourne have consistently been at the top of both competitions, a testament to their players and their club's football programs and I congratulate all involved for this achievement," AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said.
"This weekend as we reach the final home and away round of the NAB AFLW, not only are we celebrating diversity and inclusion for Pride Round, but have also recognised the achievements and success of the Melbourne Football Club in both home and away seasons."
AFL.com.au reported last week that the prizemoney will be split between the women's players ($250,000), men's players ($250,000) and the club ($500,000).
Half of the money allocated to the club will go to football department staff and is exempt from the soft cap. The money for players will not be counted under the club's salary cap.
First struck in 1951 in the VFL, the McLelland Trophy recognises the contributions of William McClelland, who was a former Melbourne captain, president of the Melbourne Cricket Club and VFL president from 1926-55.
Before being restricted to the AFL competition in 1991, it had a rich history of being awarded to the club with the best overall performance across multiple teams in men's competitions (seniors, reserves and under-19s).
The McClelland Trophy will be presented to the Demons at the W Awards on November 27.