'Very disappointing': Eddie McGuire humbled after Magpies virus breach

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Nathan Buckley and Eddie McGuire are pictured side by side during a Collingwood Magpies press conference.
Nathan Buckley and a fellow assistant coach cost Collingwood a $50,000 fine for breaching coronavirus restrictions, leaving Magpies president Eddie McGuire red-raced. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and assistant Brenton Sanderson have offered to cover the hefty penalty the club has copped for their AFL coronavirus protocol breach.

The pair played tennis with two people from outside the club's travel bubble - including Australia's Fed Cup captain and former women's world No.8 Alicia Molik - in Perth on Friday.

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They later reported the incident to the club, which relayed the information to the AFL.

Collingwood was fined $50,000 - with $25,000 of that suspended.

The fine couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Magpies, being handed down just a day after club president Eddie McGuire called for individuals fined by the AFL for breaching the hub rules to pay for any sanctions from their own pockets.

McGuire made the call after Richmond captain Trent Cotchin’s wife left the hub to visit a day spa, which cost the Tigers a $45,0000 fine, with $25,000 of that suspended.

“I think the people who breach the protocols should be fined personally, to be honest,” McGuire told Fox Footy on Saturday.

“You can get to the clubs in due course, I think the AFL's set it out, but I think it's got to be a personal fine.”

Collingwood fined after coaches’ tennis trip

Buckley and Sanderson were given permission to play tennis outside of the hub against each other on Wednesday and Friday but breached AFL protocols by playing with people not associated with the club.

They did not breach any West Australian government protocols.

"This is a very disappointing reminder of how vigilant we must be to keep the season alive," Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson said.

"Our game has been granted the right to continue to play by governments around the country.

"In exchange for that right we simply must do all that we can to protect the health of our players, staff and the communities in which we are living and playing.

"Our football program has been educated and constantly reminded of its responsibilities and as senior leaders of our program both accept that this breach should not have occurred.

"As a club, we apologise, vow to be better and fully accept the penalty."

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is pictured walking off the field after addressing the players.
Nathan Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson have offered to pay $25,000 of Collingwood's $50,000 fine, with the other half suspended by the AFL. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The experienced coaching duo released a joint statement after the penalty was handed down.

"At the time, we believed we had followed and adhered to the protocols as required but after returning to the hotel and re-addressing the circumstances it became crystal clear that we had breached the current AFL protocols," the statement read.

"The competition is asking its constituents to make great sacrifices for the show to go on and we have all accepted these for the long-term future of the industry and the privilege of participating within it."

With Yahoo Sport Australia