- The Melbourne Demons legend was a champion player and coach
- Leaves a huge legacy after his death
- A major effort to give his name to the Prime Minister’s trophy
Renaming the Premier Cup after Ron Barassi is one of the ways the AFL plans to honor the football legend.
League chiefs will consult with clubs and key industry figures in the coming days before deciding how to recognize Barassi, who died on Saturday aged 87.
The AFL Commission will make a final call with the grand final looming next week.
“It is difficult to imagine a greater or more significant figure in Australian Rules history than Ron Barassi,” outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said on Monday.
“There have been his exploits on the field, off the field and more broadly as an innovator and incredibly progressive.
“His legacy is under review. There is, I know, a lot of pressure to rename the Prime Minister’s Cup.
“There are other ways to remember him. These things are being discussed.
Ron Barassi is one of the greatest legends in VFL and AFL history and would be a strong contender for the trophy that will bear his name.
Barassi played 204 matches for Melbourne and 50 for Carlton. The football legend also had a long and successful coaching career.
McLachlan took a direct role when asked for his opinion on whether the Prime Minister’s Cup should be renamed in Barassi’s honour.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to express my views at this time except to say that I believe Ron Barassi should be honored in some way,” McLachlan said.
“There are different ways and I know the focus is on changing the name of the Premier Cup. That will have different views.
“We will work on the process with our clubs and ultimately it will be a Commission decision.”
“But I think he should be recognized in the same way as Norm Smith or Jock McHale.”
Both Smith and McHale have major final day awards named after them.
Barassi has already received a statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but there is significant pressure to have the Prime Minister’s Trophy also named after him.
The Norm Smith Medal is awarded to the best player on the field in the decisive season and the Jock McHale Medal is awarded to the premiership-winning coach.
The AFL is also planning to honor Barassi on this year’s Grand Final Day.
Barassi played 253 senior VFL matches during his career, including 204 for Melbourne and 49 for Carlton.
Between playing and coaching, Barassi won 10 premierships at Melbourne, Carlton and North Melbourne.
Only the great Norm Smith, who coached Barassi, won as many flags during his playing and coaching career in the VFL/AFL.