Wooden spooner Bendigo will fold at the end of the season and will not renew its licence in the VFL.
The Gold has made the decision that its model cannot be sustained in the current VFL climate given the rising costs to produce a competitive standalone team.
After splitting with Essendon at the end of 2012, Bendigo has not won a senior match.
The club last year made a desperate plea to the township and sponsors to remain faithful to the team in a fund-raising effort.
Bendigo chairman Tim Dickson said despite the efforts, financial forecasts showed it would struggle to remain viable.
Frankston, Port Melbourne, Williamstown and Coburg are the other standalone teams in the VFL. Of those, Coburg’s long-term future also remains clouded.
”We hoped that 2014 would start a rebuilding process which would ultimately deliver a competitive VFL team and a sustainable, successful organisation that would make a major contribution to local football and also to the community,” Dickson said on Wednesday night.
”AFL Victoria has always supported Bendigo, and the people directly connected with the club have worked extremely hard, making huge sacrifices to ensure the retention of a VFL team in this city.
”We knew that becoming a standalone club after 2012 would pose significant challenges for us, but we addressed them in a positive fashion and hoped that some of the key issues that have plagued the club would be resolved.”
AFL Victoria general manager Grant Williams said it was disappointing there would no longer be a state footy league presence in Bendigo.
“All involved in the club have done a terrific job in recent years endeavouring to maintain a standalone side in Bendigo, but have found it difficult to remain competitive,” he said.
“The decision for Bendigo to not seek a new licence agreement hasn’t been easy for the board to make, but they believe it is best for all involved that they make this decision now rather than the end of the season to allow all parties involved the ability to plan for 2015.”
Bendigo will play out the remainder of the season, with its final match against Collingwood at Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo on Friday, August 22.