The South Australian National Football League, who ran the local competition, had been seeking to enter a team in what was then the Victorian Football League since 1981. Protracted negotiations were brought to a head in 1990 after an SANFL team, the Port Adelaide Football Club, reached agreement with the AFL to enter their competition. Legal action followed, and eventually the league agreed to enter the composite Adelaide team in 1991.
The Crows did not take long to achieve success, winning back-to-back premierships in 1997 and 1998 under coach Malcolm Blight. Their fans base has quickly developed a distinct character of its own, caricatured as chardonnay-sipping yuppies contrasting with the working class Port Adelaide Power which did eventually enter the AFL competition in 1997. Rivalry between the players and supporters of the two Adelaide teams is fierce, with an edge not present in the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers situation in Perth. On one occasion, a meeting between players of the two teams in an Adelaide bar resulted in a widely-reported brawl. Many Crows fans resent the dominance that Port Adelaide achieved in the SANFL and until the Power won their first AFL title in 2004, greatly enjoyed the fact that their AFL team had tasted the ultimate success whilst the Power had not.
The club is based at AAMI Stadium (formerly Football Park) in West Lakes and the club song is "The Pride of South Australia", which is based on the tune of the United States Marine Corps Hymn. Famous players include Mark Ricciuto, Andrew and Darren Jarman, Andrew McLeod and Tony Modra. The club is currently coached by Neil Craig, who replaced Gary Ayres when he resigned mid-season in 2004. Craig, initially a caretaker coach, was subsequently appointed to the position permanently from 2005 onwards.
Adelaide won premierships two years in a row.
Brownlow Medal winners
Coleman Medal winners
Norm Smith Medal winners
Mark of the Year winners
The Malcolm Blight Medal is Adelaide's official award for the player voted Best and Fairest throughout the season. Despite Blight only coaching the Crows for 3 seasons, in their short history he is deemed to be one of their greats, coaching Adelaide to back-to-back premierships.
"Team of the Decade"
While some sides named their "Team of the Century" to co-incide with the AFL centenary celebrations in 1996, Adelaide only joined the league in 1991, and so later on named their "Team of the Decade", covering the period from 1991 to 2000.
- Main article: 2005 AFL Finals Series
Adelaide have had their best home and away season in the history of the club in 2005 after fininshing on top of the ladder. Adelaide went into the finals on a ten game winning streak, although that ended in the first qualifying final against St.Kilda. The loss set up a game against bitter cross-town rivals Port Adelaide which Adelaide won convincingly (final margin of 83 points is a club record winning margin against the Power). However, the following preliminary final loss against the West Coast Eagles ended the Crows premiership hopes despite a last quater comeback.
- Official Website of the Adelaide Football Club
- Unofficial Website of the Adelaide Football Club
- Full Points Footy History of the Adelaide Football Club