'They cut the mic': Eddie McGuire explains ugly live TV blow-up

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Eddie McGuire blew up at Tony Jones on live TV. Image: Channel Nine

Eddie McGuire has spoken out about his heated on-air stoush with Tony Jones on Wednesday night, saying he snapped out of fear he was about to be stitched-up.

McGuire appeared on Nine News on Wednesday to discuss the issue of refunds for AFL fans who have already forked out for 2020 memberships.

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With no footy for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus crisis, many fans are calling for their memberships to be refunded.

McGuire, president of Collingwood Football Club, grew more and more incensed when Jones asked him if Magpies members would be able to get a refund.

And he finally snapped towards the end of the segment when Jones quipped: “Unfortunately there’s a lot of empty pockets.”

McGuire angrily spat back: “And they’ll be looked after, Tony. Do not make this into people taking money out of peoples pockets and don’t wind me up with a smarta** last line.

“This is desperate stakes and don’t try make a headline or make a fool out of me. When people need help they will get it.”

Discussing the heated clash on Thursday morning, McGuire said he got so angry because he thought he was about to be cut off by producers.

“It’s a talkback special when you get people in live or on a link where they cut the mic and then give you a smack on the way out the door,” McGuire told Triple M Radio.

“Like, ‘We’re going to take it out of empty pockets’. No we’re not.

“I thought they were trying to… and we’ve all seen it… and we’ve been in radio and TV too long, so that was the other reason I jumped.

“I thought he was quite right to ask the question. But I thought he was trying to get a yes-no answer to something that is a lot more complicated.”

McGuire calls on AFL fans to stay the course

McGuire reiterated his point that fans were welcome to a refund but their money was much-needed by the club.

“I’m just begging people, if you want your club to survive, it’s your club, that’s what a club’s membership base is all about,” he said.

“I’m obviously intimately involved with it. I’m passionate about what football does for the community. And that’s why I jumped a bit last night because I don’t want to see more of this divide and conquer in the journalism world. It is all about trying to get hero and zero.

“And if you’re going to invite me on Nine News, let me put what I’m trying to say into context. Don’t try and trip me up with a yes/no answer – it is a lot more complicated and needs to be explained more than that.”

Eddie McGuire looks on during a Collingwood game in 2019. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Jones also discussed his clash with McGuire on Thursday, saying he didn’t take it personally.

“I’m fine, it didn’t worry me,’’ Jones told The Herald Sun.

“We spoke about 10 minutes (after). We obviously have a difference of opinions but at the end of the day it doesn’t spill over. It wasn’t orchestrated.

“I can’t recall the last (spat) I’ve had on air. I did jump on my bike and I must admit I was looking behind my shoulder for a black Lexus.

“What’s that line out of Anchorman … ‘well, that escalated.’”