Eddie McGuire cheekily walked off set after a brutal grilling about his handling of the Steele Sidebottom saga on Footy Classified on Wednesday night.
The Collingwood president has been widely criticised for defending Sidebottom, who was hit with a four-match ban for multiple breaches of the AFL’s strict coronavirus protocols.
Many believe McGuire’s defence of Sidebottom is ‘hypocritical’ and shows ‘double standards’ after his response to similar scandals in other clubs.
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Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown said McGuire was doing more harm than good to Collingwood with his almost daily comments.
“I think you’ve got to ask yourself always: Am I helping or hurting the footy club?” Brown said on On The Couch on Monday night.
“At the moment, the coach Nathan Buckley is having to defend the footy club, having to defend Eddie’s comments. Last week he (McGuire) didn’t need to say he was ‘proud’ of Steele Sidebottom. All he needed to say was ‘he’s had a clean record for 12 years’.
“At the moment, Eddie is hurting the Collingwood footy club, because if you’re going to win a premiership – and they’re a genuine chance of winning – you don’t want any choppy waters around.”
Eddie McGuire walks off after grilling
Brown’s comments were played to McGuire on Footy Classified on Wednesday night before he was grilled by his co-hosts - namely Caroline Wilson.
Wilson also mentioned Jordan De Goey’s indecent assault charge and the fact Collingwood hadn’t stripped Sidebottom of the vice-captaincy, suggesting the club had cultural problems.
“Do you accept that sometimes you do hurt Collingwood? You might be taking the flak for people but do you think you have hurt the club?” Wilson asked.
“It was called out by Nathan Buckley some years ago, Geoff Walsh twice won’t answer the question about having an outspoken president in the last month.
“I think you have. And Mick Warner thinks you have Mark Robinson thinks you have – three senior footy people.
“It was pointed out on Monday night – and the rap sheet was run down the Sunday Footy Show – and the point was made by several, including Kane Cornes in that seat, that Collingwood has a discipline problem. Have you disciplined Daniel Wells for what he did last week?”
To which McGuire replied: “Caroline, we are at the moment … On the weekend, we were ringing people and pulling them out of bed to get them onto planes. Right? We were trying to get...”
McGuire and Wilson then went back and forth for a number of minutes:
CW: Have you disciplined Daniel Wells for what he did with Steele Sidebottom?
EM: We haven’t got – Daniel Wells opened his door! Anyway, I tell you what I’m not going to do …
CW: You let your vice-captain get on the sauce when he shouldn’t have been there.
EM: I’ll tell you what I’m going to do Caro. I’m going to do what you wanted me to do. I’m going to give you a ‘no comment’. We’ve said enough about it, it was last week, the club handles it, we’ll handle it internally.
CW: There are so many players now, Ed. There’s been gambling, there’s been drinking, indecent assault – maybe he’s completely innocent but these charges have come up again.
EM: He is innocent until proven guilty. We’re very conscious of looking after the complainant in this situation as well, so we’re not going to exacerbate the situation. It is there the AFL cleared him to play after an investigation in 2018. That was 2015 allegedly an incident happened and now we’re in 2020.
CW: A lot of clubs would have stripped their players – or a player would’ve given up – the vice-captaincy after what happened last week.
EM: I think a lot of clubs react because they actually care and listen to what you and Mark Robinson and Michael Warner might say. We don’t.
After a near-seven minute grilling, McGuire cheekily walked off set when Wilson pointed out that Collingwood won the premiership in 2010 when McGuire was “as silent as ever.”
“Well, if that’s the case, I’ll tell you what? If the decision was if Collingwood would win the flag if I was silent, it’d be very simple and I’d go right now and never come back,” McGuire said before standing up and walking off the set.
McGuire returned a few minutes later before declaring: “I’m putting the season in danger here apparently.”