The Victorian Football League was a short live Australian rules football competition that lasted between 1897 to 1904. This was an attempt to try to possibly get into the crowd numbers of the Victorian Football Association. But struggle to get the crowd numbers and quickly folded with only four teams seeing the end of the competition.
The Victorian Football League was formed in 1896 with the six strongest clubs in Victoria (Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzory, Geelong, Melbourne and South Melbourne) broke away from the Victorian Football Association to form the new league. Despite promise, they couldn't lure other teams to join the VFL and started the competition in 1897. The first season had the top 6 play in ten rounds before a final four system which would later be scraped. Geelong won the first competition after defeating Essendon in the final match of the finals.
A change in how the finals were run happened in 1898 with the minor premier having the right to challenge to the winner of second and third match. Essendon once again won took the minor premiers. Fitzory and Geelong finishing second and third. Fitzory took the right to challenge but they lost to Essendon.
After winning 1899, Essendon had a second team in the Victorian Football Association but just before the season started, they went back to the VFA and with the teams dropped to 5, South Melbourne took the title again in 1901. Geelong withdrew in 1902 to leave a four team competition. With a four team competition, it was going to end with the final season seeing Fitzory taking the title.