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The autopsy into Melbourne Victory’s 6-0 demolition at the hands of local rivals Melbourne City is in full swing – and it’s not pretty reading.

Victory’s worst-ever loss, and City’s biggest-ever win, consigned the once-flagship club of the competition to a fifth defeat from six matches and leaves them firmly rooted to the bottom of the league.

After a 10th-placed finish last season – the club’s worst result – things have only become worse this time around.

It led to the stunning spectacle of fans booing Victory’s side following Saturday’s derby defeat.

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“One thing I’ve never seen in 15 years of the A-League here at Marvel Stadium is Melbourne Victory players have gone over to their supporters and they are absolutely furious,” Fox Sports commentator Michael Zappone said.

“They’ve received a massive spray from the fans, they’ve been booed by their fans and it’s not something I’ve ever seen before.

“It’s going to be felt right across this club and it’s going to be a huge week for the Melbourne Victory football club.”

Coach Grant Brebner, an inexperienced manager who had to be convinced to take the full-time job after a caretaker stint last campaign, is now on the brink of losing his job.

Brebner – a beloved former player who starred in the premiership-championship sweep in 2007 and 2009 as a gutsy midfielder – is in the firing line over the team’s dismal performances.

But the problems with the club stretch from top to bottom, from the players to an underperforming board.

Foundation board member Richard Wilson last month resigned in frustration at the direction of the club, putting his 16 per cent stake up for sale.

The club has been in clear decline for three seasons – despite a 2017-18 Championship win from fourth place on the ladder, a full 23 points behind Premiers Sydney FC.

Victory reshuffled their hierarchy by hiring Drew Sherman as general manager early last year – what was widely viewed as an attempt from the board to have more control over recruitment decisions. But recruitment since then has been contentious to say the least.

Former captain Ola Toivonen rejected a fresh deal shortly afterwards to return to his native Sweden. Veteran stars like James Troisi, Terry Antonis, Kosta Barbarouses all left.

Perhaps most hurtful departure of all will be Andrew Nabbout, who left in late 2020 for Perth Glory, a deal which collapsed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Nabbout signed with rivals City for this season – and was a standout performer last night, shaking off the boos of his former Victory fans to run riot in the 6-0 win.

Club legend and Fox Football expert Archie Thompson laid the boot into his former side, saying the players were also to blame for the defeat.

“For a manager, you can set the team up how you can but it’s down to the team to be able to perform and make it look like they want to be out there and play for the jersey.

“They were second to the ball all night. It was almost like boys against men. Unfortunately for Grant Brebner, he’s probably going to be the one (to cop it). I hope not, I hope they give him time.

“I’ve been seeing this happening for a long time. The depth hasn’t been there, the quality of players and the recruitment.”

He added: “Unfortunately we’re going to be pointing the finger at Grant Brebner. I’m a player. I know that performance out there isn’t worthy of a Melbourne Victory shirt and a lot of players out there too would know that.”

Club stalwart Leigh Broxham even apologised to fans after the game.

“Absolutely gutted,” he told Fox Sports. “Gutted for the work we’ve put in and obviously for the supporters – I apologise to them, it’s not good enough.

“At the end of the day, there’s no excuses, the scoreline is what it is.

“We’ve been fully supportive of Brebs, he’s fully invested. I dare say he hasn’t had a day off all year.”

But Brebner took the blame in his post-match press conference.

“It simply wasn’t good enough,” Brebner said.

“We make no excuses for it; it was an unacceptable night … it was humiliating.”

“I would say that the finger should be pointed at me for the sake of the football club,” Brebner continued.

“I have always said that I take the blame for nights like tonight and I am not wanting to blame anyone else.

“I am the head coach of this football club, I am the one who needs to look at the game tonight, analyse the game and come up with reasons why that happened, it’s not finger pointing, it’s not about scapegoating – it’s the reality.”

The reality is that one of the league’s biggest clubs is in crisis. Changing the coach might not be enough.

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